Kazandibi, of İstanbul Bilgi University Architecture Department, played host to Asla Demirtaş’s presentation at the open seminar, 24th of which was on December 18, 2014, as part of Open Faculty. In her presentation entitled “Did you sculpt the stone? Take a step back and look. Don’t be awed by my sculpting, be awed by the stone”, Demirtaş talked about her three works of different styles.
The title of the presentation, prepared with excerpts from a poem by Franco Buskas, from his book “Cot Mendime Gorsektimi Vuru?” was at least as interesting as the stories told. Saying that one should be humble when interfering with the stone, Demirtaş noted that she mulled over humility as a human/architect in all three projects he presented. She added that a common work sacrifice sat very well for the projects.
The three presented projects were categorized by the architect as follows:
1. Sacrifice in architect / nature relationship,
2. Sacrifice in design / production process,
3. Sacrifice on sanctioning power during collaboration.
Demirtaş, who is the head of the team participating in the Gelibolu Peninsula Historical National Park Focus Areas Ideas Project Competition, stated that the region was known for wars and that they thought about what could put a stop to the war. Here, she noted that the team which sought to go back to that moment when the ambition of ownership was never there, had to back to the geologic age. Then who is the real sovereign of Gelibolu? The team found the answer to this question in earth and stone. It was sought to lay the layer remaining at the very bottom to the very top as a result of geological explorations.
The layout problem for the area with 6 focuses and its identity as a park were considered in detail. Four hundred years were needed for opening of the pores in the structure of taphony which is a type of limestone. It was desired that the moving nature of the stone should affect architecture. It was aimed to create timelessness with stone when the landscape reflected the rhythm of seasons. The same landscape was reiterated in the same manner everywhere…
After demonstrating examples from the sketches of the project, Demirtaş started to explain the second category. Carpets were designed for Dhoku, one of the parallel events of the Design Biennial. Collaboration was made with the carpet producer who resided in a village in Manisa. Designers setting out from the phrase “Carpet is a trade which has proven itself”; instead of creating a design, just told their designs to the producer.
Right before production, the designer visited the village; their expectations like carpet / weaving / Anatolian romanticism were shattered…
While there were 2 or 3 authors of each carpet at the design leg; they were woven by at least 2 or 3 people. After showing photographs of the carpets and production process, Demirtaş started to tell about the last category right away.
Blind Dates Project is a show bringing together individuals who have links to the old Ottoman land but did not know each other, asking them to perform artistic work. In that context, Demirtaş was matched with Lebanese architect Silva Ajemian. She talked about a bridge in Kars Ani; one leg of which was in Armenia and the other one in Turkey.
The two architects, when they realized that they couldn’t finish the job by consensus, they decided to perform without any collaboration. Demirtaş asked how imagination and idea could be at the same place / moment without contradicting with each other. The two architects, without going to Ani at all, sent to each other the images found over the Internet, and did manipulations on them.
The originals of these images and the images prepared by the designers were juxtaposed by way of lenticular printing. This product was for visual communication.
Then, the graphic communication phase started and the prepared drawings were exchanged. The drawings were exchanged over the original image and touchups were made on them. Hence, the product was nobody’s. For the tectonic communication which was the last phase; imaginary landscapes were created and joined.
Blind Dates Project was only shown in New York; the show could not be brought to İstanbul because of financial problems.
It seemed like after the seminar, Demirtaş’s own sacrifice experiences left the viewers alone with their own thoughts…
Compilede: Yağmur Yıldırım / Architect