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Divercity. Learning from Istanbul

Videos, photos, installations

Opening: 17.09.2010. 6 PM

The exhibition is open until 7 November 2010.

Artists: Can Altay, Didem Özbek, Osman Bozkurt, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Orhan Esen, Deniz Gül, Emre Hüner, Ceren Oykut, Bas Princen, Tayfun Serttaş, Ali Taptik, Solmaz Shahbazi

Custodians: Kaja Pawełek, Serra Özhan

Architecture of the exhibition: Jakub Szczęsny / Grupa Projektowa Centrala  

‘Total Realm’, a work by Emre Hüner, will be presented at the exhibition on a big screen VideoBoard, at the Świętokrzyska and Marszałkowska crossroads. In the city, author’s posters created by Ceren Oykut will appear.

The exhibition uses a city as a social, political, and economic territory which at the same time is either a background for everyday activities and strategies or an inspiration for fictional narratives, personal histories, dreams and desires. Moreover, the energy of the city and the changes it undergoes always affects the citizens.

The main characteristics of the modern city are speed and development, which turn its past form into a phantom that revives in personal meetings, memories and imaginations. Telling the story is easy when we are talking about the past but what about the future of the city and its citizens when we forget about such economic categories as expansion, modernization etc? There have been no coherent ideas concerning the utopian world of the future recently. It is harder and harder to predict the future, as we still revive old hopes and dystopian illusions, and fail to remember that the future inevitably starts right now.

Istanbul, like every megametropolis, is a place of urban mechanisms and diverse social coexistence, where the boundaries between public and private spheres are constantly changing. Surprisingly, the essential sources of the city’s energy come from small units such as fragments of urban scenery, details, smells, sounds or gestures. All these units build the mechanism of the city and its meta-narration. At the same time, they create intensity at the very basic street level in the form of everyday life, in casual incidents which are simply everyday events.

Warsaw offers a significant context for the exhibition, since its past affects the development of the public sphere, where individuals, often unofficially, change or even take over the public space. Both cities, Istanbul and Warsaw, are learning from each other as both are still becoming familiar with their past and the latest transformations. We call them ‘open cities’, since both are undergoing a process of creation and redefinition.

The artists invited to join the exhibition are not only Turkish, but also citizens of other countries. They gave us examples of experiments, tricks with the urban potential of the city, as well as various narratives, documents and attempts to create the future city.

A special edition of an art magazine ‘Obieg’ (which will be distributed at the end of September 2010) will complement the exhibition, allowing a comparison of the two different spheres of the presentation - the one included in the magazine and the other presented in the gallery.


The City of Warsaw    

British Council’s project My City  

The project is part of preparations for the European Capital of Culture Warsaw 2016.