Akaretler row houses host 3 shows of diverse disciplines in Istanbul

Akaretler row houses host 3 shows of diverse disciplines in Istanbul

Monitoring Desk

ISTANBUL: In one of the coolest districts of Istanbul, Beşiktaş, the Akaretler neighborhood surely stands out with cobblestone streets lined with local shops. The row houses, called “Sıraevler,” in the neighborhood mesmerize with their historical atmosphere and beautifully restored neoclassical style. These charming buildings are one of the city’s buzzing cultural hubs thanks to the many events and activities that they feature.

A work by Emin Çelik from “Lorem Ipsum.”

The houses were built during the period of Sultan Abdulaziz in 1875 by Ottoman Armenian architect Sarkis Balyan. Adding color to the texture of Istanbul as the best example of the 1870s civil architecture, they served as accommodation for the leading high-ranking officials of Dolmabahçe Palace, which was the final seat of the Ottoman rulers, at that time. With a restoration project completed in 2008, the rowhouses became a significant gathering place in the city regardless of the genre of event.

The historical houses, which also received the Urban Land Institute (ULI) award in London and represent the second largest restoration project in Europe, are hosting three exhibitions titled “Made in Love,” “Lorem Ipsum” and “Original by Nature” throughout March. While “Made in Love” is a solo show prepared by contemporary artist Haluk Akakçe, “Lorem Ipsum” is a group exhibition by Odeabank’s art platform O’Art. “Original by Nature” is presented by Mercado, a new generation art and design platform.

A general view from the “Original by Nature” exhibition.

‘Made in Love’

After five years, Akakçe is engaging Istanbul audiences once again with three important video works and a comprehensive exhibition that summarizes his productions in the last five years. “Made in Love,” organized in collaboration with Sevil Dolmacı Art Gallery, welcomes enthusiasts at Sıraevler No: 37-39 until March 22.

The multidisciplinary artist’s audio and video installation titled “They Called it Love, I Call it Madness,” which focuses on four to six blocks of Las Vegas’ streets in 2006, and his never-before-seen gigantic paintings are among the elements that make this exhibition important. Akakçe’s videos examine the relationship between humans and technology, sometimes making references to biology, geometry and architecture. These works are mostly accompanied by musical compositions either specially put together or adapted from an existing classical piece. The hypnotic quality of computer-generated images is more strongly emphasized by the soundtracks of his films.

A work by Haluk Akakçe from “Made in Love.”

Akakçe has previously showcased his works at the world’s leading museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art (2002), Long Island City (New York, 2001), Tate Britain (London, 2004) and Istanbul Modern (Istanbul, 2009). In his latest exhibition in Sıraevler, the artist’s videos titled “White on White” and “Mr. Butterfly” are also on display. His videos and paintings are accompanied by his latest cut-out murals, sculptures and works on paper.

Typography show ‘Lorem Ipsum’

Odeabank’s art platform, O’Art, offers a group exhibition titled “Lorem Ipsum,” which features the works of nine artists that combine writing and form at Sıraevler No: 11. The second exhibition of the season organized by O’Art will remain open to visit until March 17.

Curated by Begüm Güney, the exhibition consists of works by Berkay Tuncay, Gülen Eren, Leyla Emadi, Emin Çelik, Merve Ünsal, Merve Ertufan, Nancy Ata-kan, Huo Rf and Eylül Ersöz. The theme of the exhibition is “typography,” a word of Greek origin formed by combining typos (form) and graphia (to write), thus the visual, functional and aesthetic arrangement of the exhibition is based on typographical scientific and artistic findings.

A work by Merve Ertufan from “Lorem Ipsum.”

Imagination is a fundamental part of what powers typography, which in itself is the art of conveying meaning through simple and abstract signs. The “Lorem Ipsum” exhibition presents two opposing approaches in which typography is transformed into a tool or aimed at interpreting its relationship with today’s art in the object-image-sign format. The boundaries of abstract and concrete thought, which writing represents, describes, remembers or imagines, are removed. With this show, O’art offers an opportunity to view today’s social issues from a typographic perspective.

Once the pieces have been physically exhibited for a month, the exhibition will shift online to the Odeabank website.

‘Original by Nature’

The Mercado art platform’s “Original by Nature” show at Sıraevler No: 19 puts forth the concept of urban agriculture in the face of the climate crisis. The show’s urban agriculture installation, fed by the upcycling of glass and digital art, transforms art into a living system inspired by water. The exhibition will run until March 22.

The exhibition, which aims to show urban agriculture as an alternative proposal in the face of climate change, also draws attention to the food crisis, one of the most important problems of today. “Original by Nature” is actually a sustainability movement that takes its inspiration from a distillery in Scotland surrounded by pure natural spring water that supports local producers and urban agriculture, returning 96% of the water it uses from nature.

In the show, we are witnessing the completion of a life cycle in a multilayered project, in which an urban agriculture system working with the upcycle of used bottles is at the center. Bottles that have expired are transformed into a work of art by taking on amorphous forms, and plants are grown with the hydroponic farming method. Plants such as basil, lettuce, and chard grown in the work of art are harvested during the exhibition and returned to the table and used in meals and cocktails. Then, the bottles used on the table become a part of the transformation by joining this cycle again.

Digital artworks of Ecem Dilan Köse accompany the installation designed by Egemen Kemal Vuruşan by upcycling used bottles. The installation transforms into a living organism, thanks to the purple light embedded in the digital artwork that nourishes the plants. Köse’s digital artworks within the scope of the exhibition are planned to be put up for sale as NFTs later, and the income from this will be used in urban agriculture.

Courtesy: (Dailysabah)

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