Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ottoman Empire (1299-1922)

Tuesday, May 11, 6:30 PM
Pratt Manhattan Gallery
144 West 14th St., NYC
212, 647-7778 Ph

“Remains Connected”
A conversation between architects Silva Ajemian and Aslihan Demirtas,
moderated by experimental architect and theorist Lebbeus Woods

Abstract:
At Ani, a bridge once connected the two banks of the Akhurian/Arpacay River. Today, of the now collapsed bridge, only the abutments on the two sides of the river remain, one in Turkey and the other in Armenia. As the remains of the bridge exist in two territories, Ani exists in two worlds, at once an important historic Armenian capital and an archeological ruin in a military zone in Turkey at the border with Armenia.

Two architects are seduced by the collapsed bridge. Their project consists of a series of visual, graphic and tectonic ‘conversations’ set up to investigate and interpret the multiple existences of Ani, the river and its disconnected bridge. These start by revealing the lenticular existence of the place which then interweave the resulting existences, references and projections. New York based architects and designers Silva Ajemian and Aslihan Demirtas offer us two stories, two forecasts.
As they bridge from their respective approaches they seek to interleave insights and articulate nested architectural and geographic narratives to create illusions of simultaneity and unfold possible realities.

"Remains Connected" is the second in a series of public discussions organized in conjunction with the Blind Dates curatorial project which opens at Pratt Manhattan Gallery in November, 2010.

About Blind Dates Project:
As an interdisciplinary and cross cultural curatorial undertaking Blind Dates tackles with the traces or ‘what remains’ of the peoples, places and cultures that once constituted the diverse geography of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922). Taking the breakup of the latter’s complex history as a point of departure, and considering the subsequent formation of nation states throughout the region, the exhibition is an attempt to explore the effects of various forms of ruptures, gaps, erasures as well as (re)constructions, including continuities within discontinuities, through the prism of contemporary lived-experiences. Blind Dates has been working with artists, intellectuals and cultural producers interested in deconstructing master narratives to give agency a chance, or to extend new ‘ways of seeing’ contentious historical
accounts and their lingering effects on life today. By pairing artists and non artists for a series of private/informal discussions project co-curators, Defne Ayas and Neery Melkonian, have been ‘matchmaking’ to mediate encounters between distanced neighbors and their estranged cultures.
The exhibition at Pratt will be based on collaborations stemming from these critical dialogs.
For additional info please visit: http://blinddatesproject.org/

Followed by a Reception, this Event is Open and Free to the Public.

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