Destruction 2011: an art event full of celebration
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
ISTANBUL-Hürriyet Daily News
Destruction 2011 is not a conventional art event for Turkish audiences. It is one of the most diverse artistic approaches with multi-disciplinary artistic techniques such as performances, sculptures, paintings, poetry, photography, installations and video art. The event will continue until May 28
This May, Istanbul is witnessing an unconventional and multi-disciplinary art “act,” which can change every kind of artistic movement on the Turkish art scene.
“Destruction 2011,” an art event on Akarsu Street in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, aims to bring a new approach to the neighborhood, both with its art and with its perception of the discipline.
“What we tried to do is to create a ‘campaign’ that is living before and after this event,” said Rafet Arslan, one of the creators of the event.
Destruction 2011 is not a one-man exhibition or event, nor is it just an exhibition that welcomes audiences. “This is not just an exhibition, there are film screenings, forums, discussions and performance events,” said Arslan.
The preparation for the event lasted for nine months. “All the work in this event, all the performances and screenings are somehow related to each other,” said Arslan.
Alper İnce and Rafet Arslan, coordinators of the Destruction 2011 have worked together during the process of choosing pieces. “This is a collective project,” said İnce. “We made this together with all the artists.”
The event also opens a new dimension of the topic “destruction.” “When we deal with this subject we did not mean decadence,” said Arslan. For the team, destruction is a banquet that they entertain themselves. “When we consider the ‘meaning’ of destruction we thought that it should not mean decadence or a negative thing. We are destructing and we are criticizing the world’s condition, however, we are also celebrating this awareness process.”
What is important for Arslan, İnce and to all the contributors is to increase the awareness of the situation of the world in many terms. Politics, environment, urban transformation, gender discrimination, in short, works at Destruction 2011 have a say in every kind of problem in the world.
“While the Destruction exhibition continues, we will also aim to criticize ourselves. That’s why we will organize a forum on May 28, which will end the exhibition and all the events, to criticize this event.”
The Destruction 2011 event opens a discussion environment for art. “We did this event without any sponsorship. It was hard but we saw that it can also work like this,” said Arslan.
The exhibition suggests that no one has to accept the current situation. “This also reflects the artists’ situation. For example artists also question their own situation in the art scene of Turkey.”
The Destruction 2011 is a process, according to Arslan. It fuses with senses of artists and audiences and creates a new model art exhibition. It questions the situation of art universally. “This is a universal model and a universal event,” said İnce, adding that there are also international artists involved.
The project is a living one, according to Arslan. “This project will continue to live after May, because the building that we are using will transform.”
The event will stay in the people’s mind and that’s how the team of Destruction 2011 will transform the city’s mind in terms of Akarsu Street and the old building.
The importance of the venue
Arslan said the building of the exhibition is a significant one, as it lies on Akarsu Street, which was a well-known building for transgender prostitution.
“For many years, this building was used for transgender prostitution and it was famous for that. After this exhibition this building will be transformed and will become a hotel or a residence.”
The situation of the building is inline with the situation of the “perception” of Destruction 2011 art event. “We also focus on urban transformation and process. The reality of this building suited to our perception of Destruction 2011,” said İnce.
“At the end of the summer of 2010, my friend Alper İnce and I identified and visited various vacant, unused buildings at various locations in the city. Our aim was to discover a building that could host our project Destruction 2011, a building, which was alive and could project the concept. Beyond the financial burden and the pains of organizing an entirely independent exhibition, the building we were going to choose would be the body, in which our exhibition would reside, it’s a living and breathing structure and in a way the very work itself.”