October 6, 2010 - Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle - Divercity. Learning from Istanbul
October 6, 2010

Divercity. Learning from Istanbul

Tayfun Serttaş, “From the Studio Osep Archive,” 2009.

Diverçity. Learning from Istanbul
video, installations, photography

18 September – 7 November 2010

Jazdow 2
00-467 Warsaw, Poland


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

Curated by Kaja Pawełek & Serra Özhan

Exhibition Design by Jakub Szczęsny / Centrala Designers’ Task Force

The video Total Realm by Emre Hüner is presented during the exhibition on the VideoBoard screen (Sezam shopping centre at the corner of Świętokrzyska St. and Marszałkowska St.), daily at 7 p.m. and at 8 p.m.

Posters by Ceren Oykut are exhibited in the public space of Warsaw.

The exhibition Diverçity. Learning from Istanbul perceives the city as a resource of fictive narratives, private (hi)stories, dreams and desires, still in the process of recreation and speculation. Here, polyphony and fragmentation make one unable to grasp the city in a fixed formula, because, as the exhibition claims, urban and architectural potential is continuously reconstructed by negotiations, by individually organized temporary systems, by the local adaptations and phenomena of the everyday practices, in which innumerous strategies of survival (mostly considered as informal) are created.

Going beyond the strictly urban or architectural perspectives, the intention was more to give voice to artists’ personal observations and intuitions, in which tiny pieces of reality and fiction are recognized, combined, transformed and retold.

Fictive narrations, based upon a long tradition of story telling allow to reveal different, often marginal or hidden images and voices. Hence a lot of diverse voices can be heard—monologues of the inhabitants of a collapsed city district; dialogues of the people brought by daily coincidences to the microcosm of a small grocery; voice of a girl questioning and playing with the new rituals of consumerism directly on a shopping mile; testimony of an old photographer, who recalls the desire of self-staging of the city’s inhabitants at his studio.

Small gestures and rituals can generate distinctive city locations, which contribute to the vast mechanism of the city like informal ‘republics’, characterized by alternative visual or performative codes. They create its intensity on the very street level, in the form of a spectacle of everyday life shortcuts, ad hoc relations, and coincidental occurrences like quotidian performances.

Contemporary city speeds up and the historical architectural layer of the past, taken for granted, becomes somehow a materialized phantom. It returns in the internal, individual encounters, memories and fantasies. If we go beyond the economy-based categories such as growth, expansion or modernization, what images and stories could be revealed when one imagines the city’s future—and its future inhabitants? The horizon ahead seems less and less predictable, balancing between rising hopes and dystopian disillusions, and the future begins imperceptibly now and can go beyond with our imagination. For some of the artists the ‘imagined now’ goes thousand years ahead in the drawing projections or is documented in the images of the city’s outskirts, where the city expands its borders and changes its shape, shifting from the mass- to micro scale.

The exhibition spatial setting by Kuba Szczęsny creates areas of high density and open space, by aiming to condense the relations between the art works and the public and to create separated and fragmented intimate perspectives. It suggests chaos resulting from the meeting of different ways of organizing the city, in which the former rules of development are being erased by the new established ones. The effect is intended to be a structure which makes the viewer engage in the search of one’s logic of visiting or rather winding through the rooms. In this context both the space and public would experiment with this potentiality, listen and hear what remains hidden behind. Same as the city itself, the exhibition can be performed in that sense. It is an exhaustingly nice walk through the districts of a foreign city.

Exhibition is accompanied by a series of talks by art, architecture and urban theoreticians from Istanbul and Warsaw. Speakers include:
Orhan Esen: September 28 (Tuesday), 7 p.m.
Gökhan Karakuş: October 25 (Monday), 6 p.m.
Max Cegielski: November 4 (Thursday), 6 p.m.
Panel discussion with Polish architects and urban planners will be held on November 5 (Friday),
6 p.m.

On the occasion of the exhibition a special edition of the OBIEG art magazine (www.obieg.art.pl) will be published in October 2010.

Project realized in the frame of the Warsaw City preparations to the title of European Capital of Culture 2016.

Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle

Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle
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