Wednesday, December 17, 2008

exchanging icons

Exchanging icons, occasionally dressed-up

Wednesday 17 december at 6:30 pm
Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center

Double-sided photo-poster. 2008.
The printed edition ‘Exchanging Icons / Occasionally dressed-up’ is the result of the residency Els Vanden Meersch did in Istanbul, Turkey, and is going to be presented in Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul.

‘Exchanging icons / Occasionally dressed-up’ is a montage of photos from contemporary and historical buildings into an imaginary cityscape.
The city of temporary residence, Istanbul, and the city of permanent residence, Antwerp (and other Belgian cities), are being interwoven by means of subjective associations.

One place is involved with the other through similarities and contrasting elements. In the mental act of continuously searching for possible links, apparent different locations imply and reflect one another. This mental process of connecting allows exchanging and mixing local icons in a mutual narrative.
These cities are being experienced as both obsessively changeable (transformation) and invariable (heritage). Observed public space and monumentalized buildings are part of everyday flow, hardly noticed by a preoccupied citizen but obvious for a visitor.

Buildings play their role as stone protagonists in a cityscape, both containing elements for cultural or national identity and serving as facades to increase the cities international appeal. The way buildings are being exhibited in contemporary cities is derived from the same stereotypes of city branding. This not only complies with the generic architecture of glass and iron offices, but also with national monuments that ought to give a city its uniqueness. History and modernism have become a fashion of dressing-up buildings. ‘Exchanging icons / Occasionally dressed-up’ can be seen as a temporary fashion show.

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