View “neighborship” at Manzara – Apartments: view this Sunday during Tophane Art Walk

This is actually an exhibition that opened last Wednesday, but because I’m busy obsessing over another one opening March 9th at Manzara-Perspectives (main gallery), never got around to writing it. Will post the opening and exhibition photos soon enough (I hope).

First, some info for the strangers to Tophane Art Walk:

This is a joining of forces of the various art spaces in the Tophane area of Istanbul. Most visible is their monthly local art events map (http://tophaneartwalk.com/, though it seems they find updating the website unnecessary). Other than the map, a feature I find especially cool are the Open Sundays— [the idea is that] once a month, on a Sunday, the day when all galleries are closed, but the people are their freest, these Tophane galleries open for public viewing.
So, the first Open Sunday of 2011 takes place this Sunday, February 20th. Participating galleries are Apel, Daire Sanat, Ellipsis, Manzara Perspectives, Non, Outlet, Pi Artworks, and Rodeo; and they will be open 12:00-18:00. Click here for the Facebook event.

(never mind the fact that the first 2011 Open Sunday is near the end of February – we applaud them for their noble intentions)

And secondly:

neighborship is currently on view at Bosphorus and Divan*, two of the flats in Manzara-Apartments.

neighborship is my first solo exhibition in Istanbul. It is also a single-project show. Opened February 9th and will be on view until May. I would suggest calling beforehand to make sure that no one is staying at the flats. Better yet, visit this Sunday, and you will also be able to see HEYDAY – Diffusion of Inventions (and even purchase some amazing limited edition artist t-shirts).

Here’s on neighborship:

neighborship: sticker-invitation, front neighborship: sticker-invitation, back

Below is the complete text of the project (both in English and Turkish):

neighborship

Both a gateway and a limit, the dual concept of border is brought forth in kapiciks (lit. small doors), which are architectural elements found in Balkan countries that used to be under the Ottoman influence and in old Turkish houses. Kapiciks are small doors that open to the neighboring house through a shared wall or fence, removing the need to use the main entrance among neighbors. Besides Turkish cities such as Kastamonu and Istanbul, kapiciks can also be found in Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia. Indicating the importance of the relationship among neighbors, in Macedonia, kapiciks are thought to signify a common understanding of coexistence. It is also noteworthy that, using the kapiciks, the comitadji (revolutionaries) were said to be able to travel all over a city without stepping on the street.[1]

The fact that the kapiciks, instead of being added later, were built with the house reveals that it was widely accepted that the neighboring families would naturally develop a close relationship. This understanding is diametrically opposite the understanding of coexistence that is behind the increasingly more isolated gated housing complexes today. Here, one witnesses the sharp dialectic between the outside and the inside and the resulting alienation. In the interpersonal relationships shaped by such architecture, there is no entrance to another’s private space. When a person leaves his home, he immediately enters the public sphere and becomes visible. In relation to the past kapicik use in Macedonia, this situation prevents any social collocation that can occasion a transformation. Today, the kapiciks are not only outdated, but they are also forgotten by all but the few interested and the elderly.

Selin Kocagöncü:Neighborship from My Art Tv on Vimeo.

komşuluk

Duvarları birer sınır olarak algılamayla, bir geçişlilik alanı olarak algılamanın arasındaki farkı öne çıkartan kapıcıklar, Türk etkisinde kalmış Balkan ülkelerinde ve Türkiye’de eski evlerde görülen bir mimari ögedir. Ortak bir duvar veya çit üzerinden komşu eve açılan ve böylece komşular arasında ana girişe gereksinimi ortadan kaldıran küçük kapılardır. Kapıcıklar, Türkiye’deki İstanbul, Kastamonu gibi şehirlerin dışında, Arnavutluk’ta, Bulgaristan’da, Bosna-Hersek’te ve Makedonya’da da görülür. Komşuluk ilişkilerinin öneminin bir işareti olarak “kapicik”ler, Makedonya’daki ortak varolma anlayışının bir göstergesi olarak görülür. Ayrıca, farklı kültürlerden evlerin arasında da açılan bu kapıcıkları kullanarak, comitadjinin (devrimciler) bütün şehri sokağa ayak basmadan geçebildiği söylenir[1].

Kapıcıkların, evin geneliyle birlikte yapılması, yanyana oturacak kişilerin bir yakınlık kurmasının, doğal bir sonuç olarak görüldüğünü gösterir. Bu anlayış, giderek daha izole hale gelen günümüz sitelerinin geri planındaki bir arada varolma anlayışıyla taban tabana zıttır. Bu anlayışta, dışarısı ile içerisinin keskin diyalektiği ve bunun sonucunda doğan yabancılaşma sözkonusudur. Bu mimarinin şekillendirdiği insanlararası ilişkide, karşındakinin özel alanına geçiş yoktur. Bir kişi kendi evinden çıktığında, anında kamusal alana geçer ve görünür olur. Bu durum, kapıcıkların Makedonya’daki sözü geçen kullanımı bağlamında okunduğunda, toplumsal dönüşüme elverişli ilişkilenmeleri engeller. Günümüzde, kapıcıkların kullanımdan kalkmalarının ötesinde, özel bir ilgisi olan veya belli bir yaşın üstündeki insanlar dışında varlıkları bile unutulmuştur.

_____
[1] Slavcheva, Polina. “We are not China and Japan to each other anymore”. The Sofia Echo 17 July 2006. 18 January 2011 <http://sofiaecho.com/2006/07/17/642710_we-are-not-china-and-japan-to-each-other-anymore&gt;.

*For those foreigners with a little extra cash to spare for their holidays in Istanbul, I would wholeheartedly recommend checking out the Manzara-Istanbul flats, in two of which you will find neighborship (at Divan and Bosphorus).

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One thought on “View “neighborship” at Manzara – Apartments: view this Sunday during Tophane Art Walk

  1. Pingback: neighborship, installation, 2011 | SK ARCHIVE

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