"NOT / SEEING THE CITY," organized by Rita Aktay, the first recipient of the Open Space Curatorial Residency Program, will offer talks Saturday, Sept. 21 at SALT Galata by three artists/collectives, who create images of the city through methodologies built with various visual apparatus. The talks will be conducted by Oddviz Collective, Serkan Taycan and Alper Şen. Aktay will be in İstanbul until Sept. 30, where she will develop a project in collaboration with arts institutions based in the city. In her curatorial residency, Aktay focuses on the postmodernist theorist Frederic Jameson's call for "cognitive mapping," within the visual cultural practice. In her exploration of this theoretical framework, she questions how contemporary art can provide residents of Istanbul with an understanding of the roles that globalization, migration and urbanization play on their lives and, in turn, give them the agency to discuss current issues.
Organized as part of the Open Space Curatorial Residency Program, in "NOT / SEEING THE CITY" participating artists will look for answers to questions, including "As new ways of seeing are generated by rapidly diversifying visual technologies, what urban relations can they open up when explored under different approaches to art practice?" and "Can we use looking, recording, reproducing and montaging to construct new forms of thought for the turbulent transformations of the city beneath our feet?"
Oddviz Collective use photogrammetry to virtually reproduce the material memory and sensitive surfaces of the city streets. Photogrammetry enables realistic digital 3D modeling of objects based on photographic data. Oddviz explores new ways of seeing and archiving afforded by the technology to develop both a documentary practice and create new urban experiences with experimental virtual installations.
Serkan Taycan uses photography to document the urbanization at the periphery of the city and expands this into a participatory walking practice, thus also facilitating a bodily awareness of urban conflicts. The four-day walking route "Between Two Seas," created for the 13th Istanbul Biennial, attempts to reconfigure the relationship of center and periphery along with that between the eye and body.
Artıkişler Collective is hesitant toward commonplace documentary practices and uses their video-based visual research practice to search for possibilities of collective image production. For the event, collective member Alper Şen will use the collective's project "Surplus of Istanbul," their collaboration with Margharita Moscardini, "Istanbul City Hills," and the documentary "Taşkafa" produced with Andrea Luka Zimmerman as starting points to question visual perceptions to search for the map, concept and effect of the city center in the periphery. If different natures reveal something to the camera that they don't reveal to the naked eye, as observed by Walter Benjamin, then perhaps its image can help us see what has yet to be seen and think about how things could be different. Focusing their cameras on neglected urban matters, these collective and artists have created interfaces with their collected images to live, understand and recreate the city.
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