Exhibition: Glasgow International 2018 - Deniz Uster, Citadel
Thursday 19th April, 6-9pm
Fri 20th April – Friday 1st June
(Closed 16th-21st May)
Mon – Wed & Fri – Sun, 10am - 5pm
Thu, 10am - 8pm
As part of Glasgow International 2018 (20th April - 7th May) Deniz Uster presents a new exhibition of works - Citadel.
As a nested form of sovereignty, infrastructure is a medium of information, inhabiting invisible but powerful activities, which determine how objects and content are organised and circulated. It is an operating system for shaping the modern city and also a weapon for the most powerful, which orchestrates activities that can remain unstated but are significant.
In his Spaces of Hope, David Harvey claims that spatial form controls temporality and an imagined geography controls the possibility of social change and history. This statement opens up debates about spatial forms of utopianism, which negatively treat the city as a container for social action, and restrain the idea of utopianism most generally to the scale of the city. Under what conditions can the dynamic production of space be explored within spatial utopianisms?
Today, the visionary consumerist utopias are the only realised spatial utopianisms, perfecting capitalism and its present consumerist forms of order. The collapse of socialism has left no plausible alternative to capitalism’s global dominance and it’s neo-liberal brother. The green movement is absorbed by capitalist enterprise, and encouraged through tax incentives and government subsidies of new, green industries to expand its dominant role. The lack of green utopias in 21st century in a time increasingly obsessed with environmental issues may be due to capitalism’s success and unchallenged dominance.
Citadel is a speculative proposition for ecological, alternate mechanised cities in transit, evading the pervasive authority of infrastructure space, as well as the class-related gentrification processes. The exhibition consists of an installation including a scaled model of a moving city;audio piece authored and narrated by Gürçim Yılmaz on the background of the emergence of mechanised nomadic living and a transition to cyclical temporality; drawings depicting historical and current displacement projects on Citadel’s route from Istanbul to Glasgow; and public engagement events spanning from Community Rights to Buy Land, to voluntary-run housing associations.
The 1960's witnessed Ron Herron’s idea of ‘Walking Cities’, which were conceived as ‘arks' that would provide post-apocalyptic protection to surviving communities, as a response to the perceived threats of Cold War era. As opposed to Herron’s revolutionary attitude, Citadel depicts a slowly evolving anarchist utopia, occurred as a consequence of automation in production and changing course of technology. Settled life -the reason behind the emergence of the elite- is transformed into nomadic living through the evolution of citadels, which briefly employ the permanent urban landscape exclusively for culture interchange and temporary work opportunities. The education system becomes spherical, spirals and inclusions replace intersections, and angular social structures dissolve within the curves of non-linear, cyclical temporality and spatiality. The act of walking - a trademark of the notion of progress, eventually conveys metaphors of recurrence.
Special thanks to Tom Harrup.
Supported by Hope Scott Trust and Glasgow International.