The Turkish Association of Architects in Private Practice from Ankara opens its doors on a new exhibition cycle, combining art and architecture. This saga’s first charpter, „Arhitectură and…” has the „body” as main thematic. Why is our living space an inspiration for contemporary artists ? Zoom on the group show and on the Ankara artists’ reinterpretation.
“We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us,” said Winston Churchill in 1943. Architecture is present in our lives on a daily basis, influencing our state of mind, without us giving it much attention. Le Corbusier was thinking of an architectural utopia that would allow us to live in harmony with one another. We inherited an echo of the Radiant City from Marseille (residential blocks), which has become the usual landscape of our Romanian cities. A ladscate our bodies cross every day, as we don’t mind the link between art and architecture.
The Modernists have tried (maybe even failed) to establish this link, and postmodernists have followed with the facadism architectural movement. These esthetical and historical experiences are still a rich source for contemporary artists, as well as for nowaday’s architects.
The „Arhitectură and… body” exhibition, held by the Turkish Association of Architects in Private Practice, positions itself exactly as the crossing between architecture, art, and us. Türk Serbest Mimarlar Derneği (TSMD), was founded in 1978 in Ankara, with the goal of sustaining the architecture proffession. Its members are independent architects with international experience.
As the main representative of all Turkish independent architects, the TSMD association regularly organizes conferences, seminars, exhibitions and forums. It also selects the winner of TSMD Architecture Awards every two years. The association has educational occupations as well (TSMD Academy), which makes available didactic classes for project developments or the enhancing of profesional competences.
The TSMD interests are extending here to the artistic field, and give place to mostly sculptural initiatives, which requestion the link between our bodies and volumes (that is to day, tridimensional pieces). The sculptures and installations are dispatched in space in such a way that, while walking around them, we become aware of the intentional game of scales. Through a simple thought exercise, we can guess that Engin Sari’s gas concrete sculpture is not a white cube, but a semi-abstract building at a reduced scale. For a second, we exist at an exagerated bigger scale in front of a very small construction. In the same line of though, architect Deniz Baykan’s steel sculpture mimicks another building, by the graphic suggestion of its contours.
The exhibition is crossed by different problematics, among which the representation, either schematic or abstract, of a body in an architectural space. In the exhibitted artworks, the bodies can sometimes be pictured in miniature. They walk through enormous paper spaces in Tuba Merdeșe’s piece. Yet bodies can also be extremely wide and schematic in the physical space. In Murat Atabek ‘s Pieta installation, they are inspired by Michelangelo’s super well-known sculpture. Suggested by massive pieces of wood, the „bodies” are reduced to mere lines in space, and the initially religious action of carrying becomes a practical factor.
„The human body is transformed into an inert body, and physically sustaining a person becomes here the manner through which the wood elements support one another”, says the artist, whose way of thinking has been nourrished in time, after a journey of a whole year at the National Art School from Bourges (France).
The exhibition shows as a panel of artworks that, at the limit of abstraction, use rough materials (metal, wood, concrete), in resonance to the ones used in the construction field. They take inspiration from the geometrical vocabulary found in architectural plans, which bear simple and graphic forms. In this first edition, the public enters a smaller-scale town, made of atypical buildings.
What about the next episodes ?
The association and artist websites :