French artist opens ‘nature real estate agency’ in Istanbul

and”The Buried Giant,and” Kazuo Ishiguroand’s latest novel, published earlier this year following a 10-year hiatus, is set in an extraordinary world invented by the author where people live in the heart of nature and rather than trying to control it, they bow to it.
A similarly implausible situation is suggested in an art exhibition that opened on Friday at Studio-X Istanbul. Titled and”Happy Owners,and” the exhibition has Mother Nature at its core, but here, nature has taken over the real estate world and offers people its very own housing projects.
Presented with the tagline and”Mother Earth just opened a real estate agency!and”, and”Happy Ownersand” was created by French artist Soazic Guezennec.
In the show, first presented to the public in 2013 in Mumbai, the artist presents imaginary real estate architecture using utopian discourses used in real estate ads.
and”I had been living in Mumbai for three years [when] the encounter between the city and nature struck me. There was an incredibly rapid urbanization going on, but at the same time nature was incredibly powerful too. Forests [remained] inside the city. I was living in the suburbs and I could literally see the cityand’s borders constantly expanding,and” Guezennec says, talking about how she first came up with the idea for the show.
One day, 12 skyscrapers, each 50 stories high, are built right in the middle of a tropical forest near where Guezennec lives and inspiration comes in the form of billboards aertising the new blocks — a common urban sight for Istanbulites as well. And just like in Istanbul, most of these ads feature such misleading slogans as and”in the heart of natureand” or and”inspired by nature.and”
and”I thought, what if these ads really told the truth?and” So she headed to the sales offices of several housing projects and took dozens of brochures and catalogues. Based on what she saw in those booklets, Guezennec set out to create a slew of images with the idea that the slogans really reflect the truth.
For the exhibition, Studio-X Istanbul has been set up so as to look like a real estate agency. In one corner of the art space is a screen on which a video about the imaginary and”housingand” projects is shown while on another corner thereand’s a collection of catalogues, huge posters and tall potted plants.
The exhibition includes new works specifically created by the artist for her showand’s Istanbul stint in addition to those showcased previously in her Mumbai show. One such new work features an enlarged aerial photo of a busy downtown district in Istanbul, in which Guezennec has erased several plazas and zones because she believes the roads in Istanbul are narrow, thereand’s not enough greenery in the city and the entire place is covered in concrete.
A response to Guezennecand’s assertions comes in the form of and”Neden Olmasin Bostaniand” (The Garden of Why Not), a project by Turkish architect Aslihan Demirtai, also on display at Studio-X Istanbul.
Demirtaiand’s project, displayed at the window of the gallery, is a bold answer to the question and”Is the city a suitable location for agriculture?and” Radish, lettuce, tomato and arugula seeds purchased from gardener Ahmet andOztandurk, who grows vegetables in Istanbuland’s Yedikule Gardens, were placed inside plastic water bottles cut in half and made into planting pots for the project. The vegetables have already started growing, Studio-X Istanbuland’s director Selva GandurDogan says, adding that they are even planning on making a bowl of salad and serving their visitors at the gallery when the exhibition closes.
and”Happy Ownersand” is on display until July 3 at Studio-X Istanbul. and”Neden Olmasin Bostaniand” will continue until the end of September.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman