İstanbul’s Iconic Atatürk Cultural Center Welcomes Award-Winning Installation

OpenWork, a performative and experimental spatial installation by Turkish artist Melek Zeynep Bulut, will be on display at the Atatürk Cultural Centre (AKM) in İstanbul as part of the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the Republic.

Exhibited for the first time in Türkiye, OpenWork comes to the Ataturk Cultural Center by special invitation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Türkiye. As a conceptual and abstract work, the installation explores the world’s rigidity through the metaphor of gates. The resonating audible surfaces within the installation symbolise a question mark across time, acting as a theatrical monument in today’s world where definitions lose meaning and borders blur. It invites visitors to discuss the threshold and shifting human position we live in. In the installation, the visitors become the exhibiting piece of the artwork.

OpenWork debuted at the London Design Biennale as Türkiye’s official artwork for the Turkish Pavilion.
The installation was exhibited in the courtyard of Somerset House in London and recognised with the Public Award at the London Design Biennale in June 2023, selected from submissions from 22 universities in 47 countries. In addition, the installation was included in the London Design Festival’s 20th anniversary Special Selection and exhibited on the London skyline on the River Thames. OpenWork was also ranked among the “Most Influential Works of the Last 20 Years” in the London Design Festival 2023 Red Book. The category’s jury consists of several prominent individuals and organisations, including the Mayor of London and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Performative Space Installation with a Contemporary Message
OpenWork was welcomed with great fanfare in İstanbul following its debut at the London Design Biennale, in London. “A performative and theatrical exhibition of transitions, exploring the rigidity of the world through the metaphor of gates”, OpenWork “delves into the meanings of power, boundary-setting, and social hierarchy that have shaped human history. With moving and sonorous surfaces functioning as instruments, abstract doors and circulation plans interact with visitors, transforming them into part of the installation. The installation stands out with its monumental arrangement and size, creating an extraordinary experience through perception and matter, transitioning from immutability to silence and flexibility as visitors engage with this experimental space.” The architectural and acoustic consultancy of OpenWork is undertaken by Celâleddin Çelik, while Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Selim Ökten and his team have taken on the engineering and structural consultancy.

Melek Zeynep Bulut creates works synthesising architecture, sculpture, psychology and behavioural sciences, concentrating on abstract and concrete experiences and sculpture-space, space-instinctive experience analysis. Placing her works in the public space as an object of contact and scene creation, the artist queries visual perception in her works in physical and psychological dimensions.

OpenWork can be visited before the Atatürk Cultural Centre (AKM) in Beyoğlu, İstanbul until November 19.

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