Thursday, October 24, 2013

Non lethal weapon - Kasımpaşa street lights 

 View of the street: Işık Çıkmazı, Kasımpaşa, Beyoğlu, Istanbul 

This street size project explores the potentials to implementing a public art project in a fast changing urban environment typical of any growing megalopolis. It tests how human network and empathy have become the first foundation for a public artwork.

Generally speaking a public-art project is realized in an existing context therefore it is interacting with a comprehensive urban environment, which includes architecture, as well as human, social and political factors.
However, over the past few years an important shift has obviously occurred in big cities. Globalized market economy, speculation and gentrification along with political agenda have leveled various cultural differences but at the same time it has raised new boundaries. Fast re-shaping city landscapes impact relationships between the inhabitants and local neighborhood dynamics. Space in a broad sense (both physically and mentally) is less available. Amazingly the more the city is expanding the less potential and alternatives are available.
Large parts of the urban fabric can no longer be possible places for various cultural projects’ realizations. Therefore different kind of collaboration strategies and implementation methods need to be developed to realizing public art projects.
In fact a site-specific realization can no longer be directly implemented in an existing site. The project’s foundation does not start from a solid structure but from the words that are exchanged between people. Human relationships, language and consequently trust are the original elements from which a project can shape its own contour. Beyond aesthetics and materials preferences, public art can first be completed if it is based on language, empathy and mutual recognition.

Description and implementation: the Kasımpaşa street neon light installation
This Kasımpaşa project is based on a local human network. The availability and approval of the neighborhood dwellers create the space where is implemented what will become visible.
Practically, I have first contacted “ustas” (local contractors) and people I previously knew and who are living in Kasımpaşa. From there, without any specific drawings, I have asked which buildings could be used for a light installation, where to get electricity, how to connect various urban components together, how to get equipments delivery, how to get food for the team.
After several days of encounters, a specific blueprint of this Mahalle has already been defined. The final result is a series of neon lines underlining urban fragments located in one street. Various lengths and colors changes will reveal a local network and how the inhabitants relate to one another.
In order to consolidate this approach, this project is realized by using only local fabricators, contractors and shops. The neon light material is a well-proven technique as well as a very common city signage but it is used for this project for a different goal.
This project starts with a human network that gives the foundation for a shape, which reveals the human links between people. As a result the project will show what is normally not visible by looking at the facades or by walking in the streets. It is like showing the roots of a tree without which it cannot grow.
This project can be understood as a reference to an early Gordon Matta Clark public art project, where he planted a tree in the basement of a building. It means that if art or any language can grow, it is because the roots are silently developing in the foundation. 

“Dallar – Rameaux” - Mardin Biennial 2010 (to my mother)
 View from the city center
For the first Mardin biennial, curator Döne Otyam has asked French artist Bertrand Ivanoff to design a specific light installation for this historical and ancient city.

The artist came several times in order to get acquainted with the population and the urban landscape. Ivanoff has chosen to work with a building located in the city center on the Cumhuriyet Meydanı (Republic Square). Even though this city has been almost untouched for centuries, this building is a typical 70’s concrete structure that was once a hotel.

« In various cities this kind of very banal building can be found. I wanted to use this former hotel because this concrete neutral architecture is a real time signature in the Mardin historical urban landscape »

Regarding the multi-cultural and multi-religious heritage, the artist turned the building into a support for a universal symbol of peace, tolerance and eternity.

On the facades, long broken branch like lines are wrapping the architecture in a green glowing color that reflects in the city center square after sunset. Going around and inside balconies, the neon lights seem to grow like an organic material.

Ivanoff has planted a tree of light that brings a poetic and fresh dimension in the heart of the city. It operates like magic as the title of the biennial suggests.

The challenge for the biennial team and the artist was also the complete such a large-scale project in a context no so familiar with public art.

« This has been the most interesting part of the project, which required a lot of collaboration and solidarity. People in Mardin showed tremendous availability and will to make the all thing possible. Because such project is completed on site, it creates a local dynamic which confirms that public art, whatever the context is, can be a fabulous vehicle for exchanges and human encounters » says the artist which conclude by expressing his faith that all the human commitment and collaboration is carried out by the project and therefore noticeable by the viewers.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Fener topography line project 

View from Sancaktar Yokuşu, Fener, Fatih 

From a series of lines supported by the architectural structure of an old factory in Üsküdar designed for a previous project, to a straight line in Fener, the same basic geometrical shape tells a different story depending on the context.

The actual pure white line is set on the top of an ancient wall and a traditional wood house. It keeps its way along the top of this unique land that is the only Christian Orthodox Palestinian territory in the area. Indeed the background of Istanbul, as well as Turkey, is a multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious.

This line is a clear and simple statement but in a very conservative and poor neighborhood, it is quite hard to implement. It reveals, beyond the monochrome color, that nothing can comes alone. It underlines the need to keep both alternative and cultural multiplicity alive.

This installation is not about aesthetic matters, it is mainly designed to crab the attention and to stimulate our vigilance about the various elements of our environment.

In a globalised world where political agenda has become an oversimplification tool, it is important to keep history in mind as well as to keep the mix of cultural and human variety as the only possible genuine foundation for the future. 

This project was part of Official Parallel program of the12th Istanbul Biennial

  View from Vodina Cadesi

 View of the line fixed to wooden house at the top of the land, looking west

 View of the line fixed to wooden house at the top of the land, looking east

 view of the line in the urban context

 drawing of the line as implemented on the land in Fener between Vodina Caddesi, Sancaktar Yokuşu and Çimen Sokak

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Project 1.2 - Kultur Platform Kulah, Karaköy, Istanbul

Project 1.2 (one bond two lines)

In Karaköy, one of the oldest and most historic districts of Istanbul, a new “Kultur Platform”, Kulah, has landed. Next to the ferry terminals amongst warehouses, shops, intense activity, ancient buildings and narrow streets characteristic of the Istanbul history, a new space dedicated to music and art will open an aperture into the future.
The owner and manager of this new culture platform has been commissioned to French artist Bertrand Ivanoff, a permanent artwork that will bring a specific identity to both the space and the neighborhood.
The result is a pure and clear neon light installation made of straight lines that are going through the walls from the inside to the outside. These lines are concretely designed to attach and link this new art space to the old surrounding architecture. Like the mooring for a boat, the lines symbolize the ropes that are fastening to the environment this newcomer ready to unload its multicultural cargo. 

 View from the inside left

 View from the inside right

Details of the anchorage and the pilar

 View from the street 1

 View from the street 2

Friday, August 31, 2012 blog is under construction.
You may also check:
Rainbow box

Location: Uşkudar, Tutun Deposu, Paşalimanı Caddesi
Old tobacco warehouse built 19th century

Concept and Description:
Long lines of light (between 10m and 15 m) are set against the inside walls of the building.
These lines are symbolically taking their support from the past, the building structure, and are targeting the future, the sky.
The various lines of light are creating a bunch of multicoloured signs in reference to both the multi-cultural passed of Istanbul and the symbol of peace.
This project is designed to reveal the rich historical architectural environment of Istanbul. It adds a contemporary and energetic dimension to a void in the urban landscape. At the same time it tells how important a breathing space is needed in an ever-growing megapole.

This realization is part of « Ex-Change » a project managed by « Bureau des Désirs et Compétences, » Marseille and Çekul Foundation, Istanbul.

Supported by CFCU and 2010 Istanbul European Capital of Culture.

Technical info:
Metal rods:  52 lines from 10 to 15 m, total 650m
Neon tubes: 52 lines various colors, total 610m
Transformers:  65 units 220 volts

Realization: Cozum Neon, Istanbul 

View of the front and side walls facing street
sketch of the light installation project

back wall

back wall detail

front wall up

corner left and back wall

corner front and right wall

view from the street

Wax neon

pure white neon tube cast in wax. 110 x 15 x 15 cm

Origine des mots - part 1

mix of various alphabet letters. neon tubes clear, white, pure white, daylight white. various dim.

Origine des mots - part 2

mix of several alphabet letters. plexiglass, stainless steel. various dim.

City grid plan - Sky line 

pure bleu neon tubes, inflatable p.v.c cubes, water in cubes. 140 x 140 x 50 cm

Grid Plan

Pure blue neon tubes hold together with inflatable p.v.c cubes. 150 x 150 cm

City Plan

Istanbul city plan, european side. Neon tubes fuchsia color. 140 x 180 cm

Ist. Pembe - Pink Istanbul

Site specific neon light installation for Tophane, a neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul.

The city street plan has been redesigned in pink color neon tubes and have been set on several buildings facades located in the heart of Tophane.
The light network branches out of the windows and it spreads over the walls like a climbing plant that grew its roots in a rich and dense history. It expands from one façade to the other. It mixes its light lines with the existing city landscape and at the same time it reverses the perception as the streets emerge from the building.

It is a flow of light, that is mapping the city that symbolicaly refers to the various flows of migrating populations who have created the Istanbul urban topography.

The gleaming street map enlightens an area of the city shared by numerous small businesses and deprived populations. Their future is uncertain since fast growing international speculations turn the local landscape into high-end rehabilitations. 

Technical infos:
Neon tubes Diam: 25 mm fixed on p.v.c structures.
Length total: 250 neon tubes
Transformers: 20 

Company: Isik Neon, Istanbul

This project was commissioned by FranceCultures and the French Institute in Istanbul for the first "Nuit Blanche" Istanbul in collaboration with the 10th International Istanbul Bienale.

With the support of: FranceCultures and the French Institute in Istanbul

left building

light reflecting on the building's walls

center and right buildings

close-up view of the left building facade

light reflecting on next building windows 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kronprinz tower project, Kaliningrad, Russia

To go through and to reach out.  To connect the stable element with the growing elements.
Located in former barracks in a city of heavy military history, Tower Kronprinz is a big and massive building that carries a strong defensive feeling. This military architecture is like a shell enclosed in it itself. The project is designed to break this architectural message.
The series of light lines bond the various elements together and create circulations and movements in place of the original no man’s land surrounding space.
The lines set at different levels and angles radiate from the core of the tower to connect with its settings. Air and trees, breathing and growing elements, are linked to the thick and passive edifice that can now absorb this vital energy.
Build solid, impenetrable and resistant to the external environment, the outdoor now becomes a vital source for the building. In a reverse movement, the inside reaches out the external world.
Going in, out and through, the lines connect the various sides of the building. The lights are pass ways between the inside and the outside, the front and the back, the before and the after. It is a call for discovery and exchanges.
With the light lines, the tower is no longer a divider but a connecting platform.

Curated by: Elena Tsvetaeva, Yulia Bardun, Anastasia Karpenko.
Commisioned by : NCCA - Kaliningrad, National Centre for Contemporary Art, the Russian Museum
With the support of: NCCA, "Saison française" in Russia 2010, French Institute in St Petersbourg, Culturesfrance 

Technical realisation of the project: OOO «NeonikaN» (Kaliningrad). 
Technical info: welded metal rods: 3 x 4 cm, total lenght 55 m 
Neon tubes: Ø 15 mm, total lenght  100 m 
Transformers: 9 units, each of 200Kw -30 mA