current project

WALK OVER THE CITY

 

Walk over the City is aiming to create an Almanac of Contemporary History of Istanbul via soundwalks. It is composed to several sound walks series, focusing on city of Istanbul via two main different historical dimensions. It takes back its audience years back thanks to insurance maps dating back to 1900s, allowing them to compare today’s Istanbul to “once upon a time” Istanbul both auditorily and digitally. The project creates an understanding of the city of Istanbul and its all urban components through out its history, focusing on urban planning and its reflection on the community.

Memories are often linked to physical settings of events. That is why buildings, statutes, monuments, ruins, streets, vacant lands and places contain so many stories. These stories are one of the main things that give form to a city’s history and identity. By the buildings and monuments, civilizations declared their stakes throughout the urban history. And always people’s responses to these buildings, ruins, and other urban elements reveal a great deal about the city.

"Monuments are nothing if not selective aids to memory: they encourage us to remember some things and to forget others. The process of creating monuments, especially where it is openly contested [...], shapes public memory and collective identity." *

The elements of urban fabric have always been a powerful vehicle by the states to keep the track of the social history and memory. In the name of demolishing some powerful signifiers of the city, governments razor some buildings and monuments that are significant for certain times, periods, hence ideologies. And this project is a way getting back to what we have forgotten, both from social and urbanistic point of views.

Project made a research on historical maps of Istanbul. After six months of intense work on Pervitich’s and Goad’s insurance maps, approximately 260 sheets of Istanbul maps are merged by professional urban planners to form Istanbul that belongs to another time span. The collaged insurance maps of Istanbul are overlapped with the current Istanbul map digitally, in a web application format. Taking as the backbone of the project, the overlapped maps are accompanied with four sound walks as a start. The project will evolve into an Almanac of sound walks of whole Istanbul that will be completed in 2015 with other editions of the project will be realised.

The project invites four artists from visual, performance and sound disciplines to make sound walks according to the old maps of Istanbul. Following the instructions given on the old maps, the audience is asked to walke in the Istanbul of the present time, doubling the time lapse with the lapse of the locations as well. The project is an alternative reading of the history, urban planning, sociology, offering the residents of the city an opportunity to question the history as well as state ideologies.

* Ladd, Brian. The Ghosts of Berlin. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1999. Print.

 

TOURS

 

Games on Colour
2012, Burçin Elmas (sound artist)

Burçin Elmas takes you with her to explore the colors, the shapes and sounds around the block. She likes to play games and she came up with ideas to play with you. Games, which eliminate the concept of time. Colors, her sounds and your movements come together to be a part of the neighborhood you share with Burçin Elmas.

Starting Point: Mavra Café, Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi 31/A, Galata
Duration: 25 mins.

* Burçin Elmas
1981 b. in Istanbul, lives in Istanbul.
Burcin Elmas aka. “JaZzJuLiEt” plays alto saxophone as her main instrument. After attending Istanbul Erkek Lisesi, she got her BA in Economics with Finance Concentration and BA in Music at University of Virginia-USA, where she developed an interest in composing electronic/computer music and video art. After completing her MA in Music Technology at University of York-England, she is currently a PHD student at Istanbul Technical University-MIAM in Sound Engineering and Design. Performed and performing with many musicians and dancers,her main interests are sound-recordings, electro-acoustic music, improvisational music and video.

 

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I am a bee, I am honey, I am a honeycomb
2012, Polonca Lovšin (artist)
There is not much green left in contemporary Istanbul. At this moment the largest green area - Taksim Park in Beyoğlu district is going to be rebuilt.
In fact this walk is done to pay attention to a hidden world of nature in the city, the one we don't notice any more. It is based on the facts about bees, about Istanbul hidden hives, about pollination of plants, gardens and abandoned spaces, and based on old map. But this walk  is not so much about the past and not so much about the bees as it is about man’s relationship to nature, food, the city, and their common future.

Starting Point: Mavra Café, Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi 31/A, Galata
Duration: 22:49 mins.

*Polonca Lovšin
1970 b. in Ljubljana, lives in Ljubljana.
Polonca Lovšin is an architect and artist, currently completing her doctoral studies in visual arts at Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany. She is co-author of publications Ready to Change (2003) and Ready 2 Change, (2004), in collaboration with Urška Jurman. She recently published a book about her work Back to the City (2011), edited by Silke Opitz. She has co-founded the art association Obrat (2006), within which she is currently co-creating the project Beyond a Construction Site (2010 – on-going). The selected solo exhibitions she has participated are; Electified Dreams, Kunstverein Gera, Germany (2011), Dynamo Door Dance,Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (2009), A+A Gallery, Venice (2006). She participated in many group exhibitions include; U3, 6th Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia: An Idea for Living. Realism and Reality in Contemporary Art in Slovenia, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (2010), Hamburg, Germany (2008), Slovenian Art 1995-2005, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (2005), Ready 2 Change, P74 Centre and Gallery, Ljubljana (2004), e-flux video rental, New York, (2004).

 

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Seeking Soul
2012, Khadija Massaoudi (performer and writer)

They call it the seeking soul. A story about a young woman from Beyoğlu. She fell in love on İstiklal Caddesi. It was the love of her life. But he left her without saying goodbye. She´s still looking for him. She can't let go of the hope. Because how to let go of the love of your life? So he didn't say goodbye but neither did she.

Starting Point: Mavra Café, Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi 31/A, Galata
Duration: 43:50 mins.

* Khadija Massaoudi
1978 b. in Amsterdam, lives in Amsterdam and originally from Morocco.
Massaoudi studied copywriting; scriptwriting and journalism and she's a theater and tvmaker, writer and singer. She's been a professional theatermaker since 2003. As a tv maker she works behind the camera as editor, reporter, director but also as a host/interviewer for Dutch national television. In 2006 she wrote and produced her first movie Ballerina (40min) and momentarily she's writing a new script of a new film Louiza.
Her latest TV programme is called Gonzo. Love and freedom are the two words that represent her work and lifestyle. As she's in love with love, she sings about it in different languages; in Dutch, English, Papiamento, Gypsy, Arabic but mostly in Turkish.

 

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Pearl Hunter
2012, Vahit Tuna (artist)

DELFICA
DAPHNE, do you still know that lay of yore
By sycamore, white laurel, myrtle shade,
By olive-tree, or trembling willow glade?
That love song still beginning evermore?

Recall that SHRINE great colonnades enclose?
The bitter lemons where your teeth have pressed,
The grotto, deadly to the reckless guest
Where the slain dragon's ancient seed repose?

The gods you weep for shall return at last,
Time will restore the order of the past,
Prophetic winds have shuddered through the lands,

And still the Sybil with a Latin mien
Sleeps on beneath the arch of Constantine,
And undisturbed the stern arcade yet stands.

Gérard de Nerval
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Starting Point: Mavra Café, Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi 31/A, Galata
Duration: 53 mins.

* Vahit Tuna
1971 b. in Edremit, lives in Istanbul.


 

Curator: Ece Pazarbaşı
Project Assistant: Berçin Damgacı
Sound Engineer: Burçin Elmas
Urban Planners: Miray Özkan Eren, Utku Serkan Zengin
Dubbing: Devrim Kadirbeyoğlu, Mine Önsöz
Photography: Melih Uçar
Graphic Design: Vahit Tuna
Translation and Proofreading: Eren Pultar Berçin Damgacı, Eren Pultar
Special Thanks: Yonca Akçay Yücel, Ahmet M. Bağcı (Doğa Av ve Deniz Gereçleri | Nature Hunt and Sea Appliances), Onur Çilenk (İstanbul Arıcılar Birliği Başkanı | Head of İstanbul Beekepers' Union), Mine Haydaroğlu, Mehmet Karatay, Ebru Önsöz, Sezin Romi

 

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