(B&W Shot from exhibition, 29.07.15)
Ankara: From pioneering modernism to revivalist mimicry and fake futurism
Ankara, as a historically ever-significant center of settlement, was strategically selected to be the capital of the Turkish Republic, following the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The founders of the new republic envisioned the city as the pilot ground for the commencement of planned urban development and thus systematic managerial structure. Subsequent to the invitation of German Jewish intellectuals who escaped Nazi persecution, the republic’s construct for a progressive way of living was supported by the globally pioneering architectural and urban planning solutions offered by these professionals. Following the numerous disconnected urban interventions by different administrations in the following decades, very recent administrative approaches seem to initiate a local iconoclasm despising what has been done at the beginning and exploit eclecticism to supposedly sublimate the empire instead. The resulting revivalist mimicries and accompanying excessive high-rise construction activity are superficial adverse impositions to the city and culture, which ignore sustainability of cultural heritage and public spaces, greenery.
This exhibition aims to compare the various urban planning tactics applied by various authorities during the 90+year history of the Turkish Republic, by juxtaposing the visuals of the traces, scars that diverse ideologies left on the city. Several panoramas of 3 to 8 meters length and hundreds of A4 size documentary photographs, in addition to some computer-transformed photographic images will be on display during the exhibition, in order to be able to compare the present and the past of the city.