Drawing inspiration from neo-futurist urban projects of avant-garde architectural groups such as Archigram and Superstudio, who regarded architecture as a theoretical field and reflected this in their practice as a form of cultural criticism, artist Deniz Üster and author Gürçim Yılmaz reimagine concepts such as urban space, post-capitalism, automation, sedentary life/ nomadism within the framework of the urgencies of the 21st century, attributing to Ron Herron's idea of the "Walking City”. In an era dominated by dystopian scenarios and narratives that signify the lack of alternatives to capitalism, Üster and Yılmaz narrate a cyclical, (r)evolutionist story which does not externalise ‘agency’ in the course of history, but instead reimagines this together with the socio-material conditions, boundaries, infrastructures and geography surrounding human agency.
Deniz Üster’s Brutalist yet ecologist Citadel installation (2018), transforms into five wall-based “bricolages” in this exhibition. Drawing from Superstudio's posters, the dominant character of these bricolages emerges as decentralisation, in which different layers are brought together but they refuse to fuse completely. Instead, the frame, the space and the print communicate with each other. Brought together around a certain narrative, in these works, we follow the traces of a bricoleur’s mentality, in which no medium or visual element plays the ‘central’ role.
Stitched together and penned by Gürçim Yılmaz, the story depicts the oral historical narrative of neo-nomadic people living entirely in Citadels, in an indefinite future. The cyclical story of the narrator, voiced by Yılmaz, creates a fourth dimension for the project by adding a new layer to the wall-based bricolages of the Citadel.
Photo credits: Marina Papazyan and Serra Akcan