Tophane

 

 

installation with d. print on folio, 2011
Exhibition view, Hamburg, 2011

 

The installation which is composed of visiting cards can be regarded as more of a study of visual culture and identity. Urban transformation is affected by not only with the movement of people but also with the movement of cash and businesses and therefore the metamorphosis that took place in Tophane and Galata has embodied its visual expression on the visiting cards of the local small-scale business owners.

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The visiting cards are indicators of  business owners’ personality, self-expression, the way they want to be perceived within their social networks, their relation to design, and even the socio economic status of the holder based upon the budget spent on them. When viewed from this aspect, visiting cards of both old and new retailers of the district – just like inside of their shops and workshops- are coloured in bright colours like yellow, green, blue and as if in a way resist the ‘progressive zeitgeist’ of the current epoch. In line with the needs, they all are designed in templates bearing big fonts and images of the products; on the other hand visiting cards of the newcoming small-business owners display a more plain, comparably colourless design and don’t display a personal taste, all of the traits, which are in line with the market needs.

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Galleries, designer shops, and cafe owners have their visiting cards designed in white, black or grades of grey that have a more plain design, which display a totally different category than the former two. In this way, visiting cards can be read as an ID card that gives us an insight about the personalities of their holders.

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The Tophane project with its organic form, fragmental and heterogenous structure tries to relate to a feminine character by displaying a subordinate character, which is ‘passive’, resisting, protecting, surrounding and embracing.

Softcity, Alan İstanbul, İstanbul, 2011

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Floating Volumes 3 , Kunst Nah,Hamburg, 2011

‘I feel like I’m at home’, installation on glass with d. print on folio, 1.20×10.0 m., Hamburg, 2011

The photographs that were taken of the shop signs on Boğazkesen focused on the names and the relations that were created with them. Within this situation, by adding a nostalgic sign to it, there is a transformation that can be observed. The work ‘I feel like I’m at home’, advances the themes of spatial transformation and resistance, the recording of and establishment of a memory that creates a ‘visual culture’. Until a few years ago while Boğazkesen Caddesi was seen as a closed neighbourhood, in recent years with the opening of art galleries and hostels it has enabled many citizens from various parts of the city and tourists to access this area.