Just like with any concept, there is a series of references that bestowes identity to a city. The references, which construct an ever changing city image with every repetition, emerge, evolve and fade away in time into the unconscious of the collective memory. This exhibition is the product of an ongoing project in which a group of artists living and producing in Izmir tracks references as such; and the group gathers visuals and texts about how these references emerge, live and how they become reinterpreted and reappropriated in time.
The six references in focus are as follows: the palm tree which was introduced to the city in 1930s for constructing a Mediterranian city image and its recessive sibling ocaliptus; the “Reclining Female Sculptures”, which since 1953, the visitors of Culture Park are compelled to take photos with; the “Ataturk, His Mother and Women’s Rights Monument”, which was originally built in 1973 with donations of the citizens, and the bigger replica constructed by the Karşıyaka Municipality which replaced the original in 2017; the footbridge connecting the seaside to Kemeraltı, which served in Konak between 1977 and 1993, until it was relocated into Menemen; Palet Restaurant, city’s only building over the sea until it was demolished for the grand infill in 1997; and the Basmane Bus Garage lot, which until this day remains a foundation cavity called the “Shame Hole” due to the cancellation permit of a skyscrapper project.
The group shares documents composed of photographs, interviews, postcards, publications, sketches; and invites the visitors to add to this collection. In addition, the exhibition hosts some site-specific art and design projects.
Yıldız Çintay Art Group is named after Yıldız Cinema in Basmane, and founded in 2016. The Group is composed of artists, working on collective memory and representations of space.