Cansu Yıldıran, Shelter, 2018.
Today, the greatest enemy of utopian thought is a certain kind of ideological attitude that reduces it to an overwhelming, authoritarian, singular reality project. According to this attitude, utopian thought points to the singular form and the ultimate horizon of an ethical community. What is certain is that this approach ignores “the core of impossibility” within utopia, while creating a relationship between totalitarian regimes and utopia. The relation of utopia with the current social life is an indirect, open, plural, rhizomatic relationship. Because as “nowhere”, utopia distorts the coordinates of reality with its absence rather than its existence. Utopian thought works more like art than anything else. The indirect relationship that art establishes with reality brings out the liberating political meaning of utopia.
It is impossible for today's artist to think of utopia without dystopia. Dystopia is the name of a system of coordinates where the conditions for producing utopias are eliminated. Dystopia is not only fed by frustrations, fatigue and anxiety. It is reproduced every day with a kind of complicity and cynical indifference.
“Resource Utopia” includes works that use memory as a research area as well as the city and the physical space. Artists are invited to discuss the different temporalities of utopia. The past has a utopian value as well as a future that’s yet to be formed. The recovery of individual and collective memory appears as a precondition for a creative move to leap into the future. Artistic practice pursues the untold stories, strolling across the uneasy border between the visible and invisible, audible and inaudible.
As Henri Lefebvre stated, “We see things incompletely. How many people perceive ‘perspective’, angles and contours, volumes, straight and curved lines, but are unable to perceive or conceive multiple paths, complex spaces? They are unable to leap over the quotidian, manufactured according to the constraints of industrial production and the consumption of industrial products, to the urban, which has shaken off those determinisms and constraints.
Yet when you encounter an artwork, you notice; the truth itself is utopic, and the reality of utopia arises from this notion. Social amnesia, the unique dynamic of the 21st century, is accompanied by the loss of the utopic.
Excerpt from text by: Ezgi Bakçay.
(Photo courtesy of Elgiz Museum.)