Istanbul Otherwise – Milan / Weimar / Istanbul

exhibition: Istanbul Otherwise
Domus Academy, Milan, 23 March – 12 April 2010
Bauhaus Universitat Weimar, Germany, 16 April – 6 May 2010
Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, 18 May – 31 May 2010

Homage to working children
Koray Ozgen created this “monument-object”, for a commission in the context of Istanbul, 2010 European Capital of Culture. Seven contemporary Turkish designers were invited to create objects on the theme “Istanbul Otherwise”.

Without a name / Koray Ozgen
When set out to think with an Istanbul Otherwise” approach, the shoe shine box can lead the designer to different concepts. Literally, this object suggests those large shiny boxes that tourists coming to Istanbul are accustomed to see in the lobbies of grand hotels. Yet, as a matter of fact, as we roam the sidewalks or squares of Istanbul, we often come across children who shine shoes using small boxes and brushes made suitably for their small hands. In such context, the designer may express him-/herself through an object, by detaching that object from its contemporary cultural marketing typology with an intervention that establishes a link between the past and the present. One way to cherish in our minds these shoe shine boxes that are identified with children working as shoe shiners deprived of their homes, schools, and non-existent toys during significant periods of their lives, may be to turn them into “monument-objects”. Objects which represent the possibility of a life equal to the respect they deserve as human beings and an “Istanbul otherwise” where they would not have to shine shoes. Objects we can even install in places in Istanbul that have witnessed this “sadness”.