In cases of venues such as the Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Centre, that radiate their own aesthetic, and furthermore represent a significant cultural epoch, it is more then tempting to create an interplay between architecture and art.
Smigla-Bobinskis interpretation, the room filling installation 'Cone', which she specially designed for this venue whilst staying in Istanbul, reaches its full effect through simplicity and clear materials within the given space. These give form and substance their maximal expression.
The venue itself is situated in an impressive historical building, with a square ground structure. A dome arches over the main space, that was built in the ottoman time for the purpose of building canons. Sufficient light is provided by an original iron ring construction holding lamps that is held up by four massive chains. Its diameter of 10 meters and the handcrafted heaviness, give the iron ring, as well as the architecture surrounding it a glow of the ottoman past, and continue the contrast between the square floor and its dome.
Onto said iron circle Smigla-Bobinski has hung a light plastic ring on springs, which holds a transparent plastic cone, consisting of glued together triangular strips of thin drop cloth, an ordinary material from a hardware store. From the plastic ring strings are connecting the cone with a large speaker, which is playing drop sounds. Whenever an acoustic drop falls, the vibrations are led over into the cone. The beam light from the lamps on the iron ring is reverberated from the delicate membrane of the cone onto the floor, and every vibration from the drop sounds makes these dance as though an actual drop had fallen into the cone.
Where are these drops coming from, someone might ask. A small circular opening is situated in the middle of the dome, from which the drops are seemingly falling into the dark point of the upside-down cone, which appears to hold water. But this is only an illusion, an inter medial intervention, which makes the space imaginarily open. The bass frequencies of the drop sound are reinforced and cause the speaker membrane to vibrate strongely, which is transmitted through the strings into the plastic cone.
The rhythm of the sound creates a pulsing continuum, that echoes from the stones of the old building and seems to gnaw at them and opens the consciousness for the change-ripe history between epochs and the significant development from weapons to culture production. The subtile metaphor of time is captured by the elementary Quality of the form language of Smigla-Bobinskis installation and it constitutes an impressive contrast to the frailty of the materials used.
||In iconology the cone is connected with the ambivalence between the centrifugal and -pedal dynamic of giving and receiving. Besides the specific association to fertility, wealth and power, there are others that point to the time continuum.
And in mathematics two cones touching each other at their points symbolise time, the vectors between past and future meet each other in the present. Similar to an hourglass the cone might be just one of two cones, loosing and receiving drops of time.
In the weapon smithery of Tophane-i Amire with its dome, that traditionaly embodies a sign of firmanent, the form of cone interacts complexly with the enviroment. It varied the form of dome and generated a reverse movement to it. Opening upwards, contradicted retrieving effect of the dome, opened the space.
And then, this plastic drop cloth, an essential requisite for renovations, a rescue tool to cover leaky roofs. The irritating picture of a drop falling through a hole in the dome roof 'Cone' is Smigla-Bobinskis metaphor of a country in turbulence between an orientation towards the Europe and a reinforced religious tendencies, between the bustle of a corrupt political elite and the fascinating self-empowerment of the young generation, whose loud protest in the street echoed in the room of Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Centre during the exhibition.
"Past and Future"- Dr. Thomas Huber, Munich, 2014
description > in-situ object
components > Metal construction, foil, speaker, springs, ropes
dimensions > about 10 m diameter x 6 m
premiere > November 2013 in MSGSÜ Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Center in Istanbul / Turkey
Monique La Fontaine
> MSGSÜ Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Center in Istanbul