Berin Golonu on Serkan Taycan
Recently I’ve been seeing on-line adverts selling luxurious tourism in Istanbul, touting the town as embodying the “new cool.” The adverts gloss over the truth that the capital is present process unsustainable charges of city sprawl to prop up Turkey’s flailing nationwide economic system. Overdevelopment is an issue in every single place, however it proves significantly damaging for a metropolis with such a multilayered and numerous cultural and pure heritage. Photographer Serkan Taycan’s exhibition “In the direction of the Metropolis” addressed these ecological considerations with 4 interrelated collection of works courting from the previous fifteen years. Whereas three of the collection—“Habitat,” 2007–2009; “Shell,” 2010–13; and “Agora,” 2013–14—consisted of Taycan’s personal documentary-style images, the fourth, “Between Two Seas,” 2013–, was a piece of social follow centering on a map produced and freely distributed by the artist, together with a rising archive of images taken by the various contributors who’ve used this map to stroll the outskirts of the town.
“In the direction of the Metropolis” was located in a big exhibition corridor within the metropolis’s newly restored nineteenth-century gasworks. Taycan had collaborated with architectural agency Superpool to rework this area into 4 distinct compartments. The primary of those contained an extended, winding desk presenting a succession of mounted images from the collection “Habitat,” which doc the topography of Turkey’s countryside. Among the images have been propped up on the desk at an angle to resemble a pedagogical show. The customer then moved right into a walled area that includes images from the “Shell” collection, which seize the growth of Istanbul’s city periphery. Shell #05, 2012, portrays man-made water channels and the posh villas which have sprung up on their shores, whereas Shell #06, 2012, depicts vehicles stuffed with uncooked materials navigating their manner out and in of an excavation pit, revealing how this flurry of building is remodeling the very floor of the earth. Guests then handed by an area encircled by digitally enhanced images shot from excessive vantage factors depicting public squares. These photographs, from the “Agora” collection, call to mind architectural renderings on cad software program whereas additionally borrowing from the visible language of promoting.
Taycan furnished the ultimate room like a research area, encouraging guests to spend time with “Between Two Seas,” its information-heavy show, and an accompanying library holding supplies about Istanbul’s city ecologies. In 2013, Taycan mapped out 4 strolling routes that contact on the proposed path of the controversial Kanal Istanbul, a twenty-eight-mile-long synthetic channel by the town’s European peninsula that will join the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, permitting for elevated freighter visitors. Scientists have voiced alarm in regards to the ecocidal fallout of this endeavor, warning that it might unleash new disasters for an already overpopulated metropolis that’s located on a landmass with common seismic exercise.
When Taycan launched his strolling challenge with an set up within the 2013 Istanbul Biennial, I had the prospect to stroll between the 2 seas. Over two separate days that fall, I adopted the foldout map of the routes that he distributed to the general public, traversing the pastoral outskirts of the town, its farmlands and forests, figuring out that this topography would quickly change perpetually. Since then, an enormous new worldwide airport, Istanbul’s third, has been constructed on one of many routes and has rendered a portion of it inaccessible.
“In the direction of the Metropolis” gently guided gallery guests from the place of spectators to that of energetic researchers by encouraging the general public to discover the town firsthand. Along with his personal images of the land in “Between Two Seas,” Taycan curated a collection of the contributors’ images right into a looping video. The rising trove of snapshots taken by these citizen explorers bears witness to the town’s dizzying transformation.