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Bertrand Ivanoff – Site Specific Neon Light Installation
01/01/2009 @ 11:00 - 30/04/2009 @ 17:00
1 January – 30 April 2009
For the outside of the DEPO building, curator Emre Baykal has asked artist Bertrand Ivanoff to design a site specific light installation. Ivanoff, a real nomad artist, is specialized in public art. He has realized various projects in cities such as Brussels, Marseille, New York and Dublin. In Istanbul, Ivanoff has produced large scale light installations including a neon light installation for the last Istanbul Biennial in 2007. Borusan Holding has recently commissioned the artist to produce a site specific light project for its new art center located in Taksim.
For the installation at DEPO – like he did for his previous projects – the artist has done a thorough neighborhood survey to understand the building’s function, location and environment and has decided to focus on the concept of links and bounds. Tütün Deposu was originally a tobacco warehouse, as its name illustrates, and was used for trading business. Now, as “DEPO” this building is completely dedicated to the arts. “I wanted to turn the original building function into a more symbolic universal exchange and communication statement” says Ivanoff.
The final design is a straightforward yet efficient series of pure white light lines which are connecting Tütün Deposu with the outside environment. The lines are set in various angles and heights between the art center and the buildings surrounding it. This light device operates like a series of pathways which are working both ways between the inside and the outside. The energy comes from the outside and it enriches the internal production. The activities inside can escape to be perceived outside of the exhibition space. Unless, it is the other way around!
The light lines composition could remind one of a naïve stitching but the strength of the neon light gives a genuine feeling of active binds bridging the architectural elements. Indeed Ivanoff masters with perfect skills the art of fastening with light, a material which normally can not be used as a binder. “I thought it would be a perfect poetic idea to link various urban landscape elements with a refined and clean material. The building’s life is now about connecting people. For this, I wanted to use a very pure, untouched material like a blank page a writer uses or a canvas a painter uses. The story is now to be written and the image to be made” the artist says.
The installation symbolizes the essential bounds of life amongst human beings and their various cultures. On the other hand, the artist’s installation is making a clear sociological statement. The neighborhood is actually experiencing serious development. By creating these lines in a gentrified context, the art-work reminds us that life in a city cannot survive without human exchanges and is not based on a concept of security which raises barriers and checkpoints.
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