Thursday, 23 May 2013

& The Art Fair From Hell

On-screen work and the online project is compulsive. 
VERNISSAGE was obsessive to do, and now done, I sit in front of an idle screen and twiddle through the links, see I haven't blogged, nurtured social networks or tweeted. 
I've thought I had something to blog but I haven't written a post this year. 
The neighbours have vacated to quieter premises leaving me their builders who work hard and long, breaking down, drilling, grinding and hammering.  One by one, all my neighbours dance the property market value massage jig, the compulsive attention deficit social disorder to tinker and titify to the music of cash.  I don't know what they see in their extra bits here and there. 
Turkish eyes don't see what I do. 
The city of Izmir is a Turkish anachronism.  A secular bastion in an increasingly religious, modernizing country.  Risen from the ashes of Smyrna, Izmir is a work and play hard, fad-fast, stuff needy, get it and flaunt it place.  A reactionary throwback of pre-crash rich noughties style, of good-life middle-class expectations dressed up as liberality. 
It is an art-free zone. 
There is a vast exhibition centre set in a beautiful central park smack downtown, and quite predictably, business minded Izmir tries an International Art Fair of its own.  The art-fair is an established business model, there's cash and cachet in art somewhere, it's just more than a question of working the angles. 


Turkish artists face difficult times. 
Istanbul aside, Turkey is an art-free country.  There is rich heritage and art in Turkey, and both are there to stand in front of as photo backdrops.  For good reason.  Any area beyond the perimeter is unheeded.  There is no view that is not marred by block on blocks of apartments and more-of-the-same development in concrete poured drab uniformity. 
I don't know what Turkish eyes see.  They certainly look at each other looking at everyone on the lookout.  From my Kamilkoç coach, the urban homogeny is almost painful.  A sprawl of 6-8 storied blocks, the odd new mall and mosque, and what have Turkey done to their mosques?  They're all new.  Not the famous ones of course, they're still there as backdrops, no, the local mosques big and small built to centralized designs with concrete-pipe-perfect tin topped minarets, and silver domes glinting like freshly washed and draining cooking pots. 

Wondrous food and hospitality and Turkish eyes too, but what do we see?