Gülsün Karamustafa, The Apartment Building

Gülsün Karamustafa – The apartment building

Athens Conservatoire

An imposing architectural scale model, faithful representation of the multi-storey mansion of one of the wealthiest families of the Greek minority in Istanbul, that was meant to be abandoned by its owners following the dramatic, violent incidents in September of 1955 and the uprooting in Greece, dominates evocatively lit in the center of the exhibition space.

The history of the building, in which human lives and sociopolitical events meet and interweave in this multiethnic megalopolis, is outlined by the artist and new resident since 1991 of the ground floor flat of the apartment building on Cihangir Caddesi No: 28 in Beyoglu, in a laconic way.

Through the few documents- photographs and texts – on the wall, which constitute part of the installation, Gülsün Karamustafa with fine critical subtlety and leaving, as always in her work, space to aesthetic emotion, retrieves from oblivion painful historic memories, brings into light stories of victims, seeks human connections, new bonds and prospects.

The introvert and enigmatic architectural model crosses over, imposing its foreignness. An ark of memory and life, past and present of another place, speaks with all which it silently keeps inside, with all it hides and reveals. The Greek blazon on the façade, the sacred privacy of the people who inhabited and continue to live in this house, the happy or traumatic memories and experiences of the city and the public space. More than a particular location in time, this transcultural habitat is handed to us as a spiritual state of mind and historical consciousness, as human heritage.

The artistic act, rendering indiscernible the boundaries between art and life, is offered by the home-carrying artist to its recipients, us, as a precious gift of rehabilitation and friendship, as a deep human relationship and communication.

Curated by Anna Kafetsi


With the kind support of: