neighborship, installation, 2011

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Housed in two neighboring 6-storey walk-up flats are two stickers, installed on both sides of a common wall.

The sticker is the shape of a door and consists of a dashed line with a scissors symbol on one end.

For use in your own home, download the full-size sticker here.


 

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.

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 Today, the kapiciks are not only outdated, but they are also forgotten by all but the few interested and the elderly.

 

Opening photos

 

Yay slideshow of all photos

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Visit my exhibition post for more information on the exhibition, including the Turkish and German text.

Or, if you prefer, here is Manzara-Perspective’s exhibition announcement post.

 
 

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