Just Before Paradise
& collect
“And just as we learn about our lives from others, so, too, do we let others shape our understanding of the city in which we live,” says Orhan Pamuk in his memoirs, where the leading role is played by the city that embodies the Orientalist visions of the West more than any other.

Turkey, as it has always been in its history, and never so much so as in these past few decades, has once again become the vanishing point of world geopolitics. Istanbul’s unique and ever-changing tension is the epicenter of an earthquake that is shaking the very foundations of modernity; the city is rediscovering its vocation as a barometer for the balance between East and West, North and South. As it struggles to strike a balance between a European vocation and a political belonging that is yet to be accomplished, Istanbul is once again, and in a wholly new way, the theater of a conflict that has never died out between twentieth-century secularism and the public reaffirmation of religions, between freedom of expression and the jealous safeguarding of identities...

Istanbul’s contradictory model of urban development represents in the most intensive way the profound contradiction and conflicts of Turkish society today. Modernization, with urbanization as its avant-garde, has been the main project for the building of the new nation-state as a Republic raised from the ruin of the Ottoman Empire nearly a century ago. An entirely new capital, modeled on European capital cities, was designed and built in the founding years of the Republic. It took a radical westernization program to turn the Turkish society into a modern one. However, “Turkish modernity” has always been a changing concept in permanent negotiations with different historical momentums, and the outcomes permanently swing between opposing and belligerent ideologies and socio-cultural models: “West” vs. “East,” modern vs. tradition, the national vs. the imperial, secularism vs. religion (Islam and others), and the local vs. the global, etc. They have always ended up becoming new hybrids, insolvably contradictory and even incongruous. But they are definitely energetic and infinitely expansive. The city of Istanbul, after a few decades of shrinking due to its status as the former capital of the Empire, has been brought back to the central stage of the national economic and social development since the 1950s. It has once again become the hub of the country’s economic and cultural activities. Modernization of the Turkish industry introduced new programs of urban expansion. Millions of migrant workers from other parts of the country rushed into the city and settled in illegally occupied areas. They built shelters overnight with whatever affordable materials they could find. Slums, then, mushroomed all around to form major parts of the city. Along with new industrial, commercial and government buildings and avenues, they have transformed the city into a unique scenery, mixing the historical and the contemporary in the most unlikely but vivid way. This has given Istanbul a new attraction: the coexistence of the formal and the informal, the rich and the poor, the new and the old, derived from multicultural-ethnic-religious roots, has made the city one of the most beautiful, monumental but enigmatic metropolises on earth.

For the last decade, one can observe that the rise of new economic and geopolitical tensions is exerting a great influence on the city’s evolution: in the name of integration in the global market and economic growth, the authorities encourage and organize major transformations of the city. The city of the secular Republican modernity and industrialization is rapidly transformed into a postmodern city of neoliberal capitalism – driven by the privatization of public services, finance, real estates, tourism, consumerism and the rise of “creative industry.” It has become a new and infinite playground for global capital. Accordingly, a typical typology of “global urbanism” has been planned and developed upon the multiple strata of the historic city to facilitate consumer life and global mobility: the new program of urban developments is focusing on shopping malls, high-end residences, entertainment, airports and bridges, etc.

To meet the needs of the emerging “middle class,” the government has pushed for immense programs of high-rise housing and upper-scale residences along with new business districts with office towers. This has been promoted by the official agency TOKI in close collaboration with private developers. The outcome is a new skyline for Istanbul that rockets into the sky. But the price to pay is massive gentrification, sending the poor population out of their slums and expelling them from the city center. There are more ambitious projects to expand the urban space into the hinterland with unexplored forest and natural resources. The project for a large canal and airport will soon be followed by the destruction of the natural environment. The city’s ecological sustainability is under threat.

This process is not really new. By tracing back to the several moments in Istanbul’s urban development, one can easily see there has always been a close relationship between the country’s political changes and the urban transformation. During the first period of the Republic, Istanbul was disfavored and shrinking. Then, in the 1950s, with the victory of the Democratic Party, Istanbul was brought back to the center of Turkish modernization with ambitious, modernist-oriented, pro-American, urban expansion and new constructions. The periods of “coup d’état” (1960s, 1980s) had also seen other waves of urban development. A process of integration in the system of global capitalist economy was launched and unfolding. With the takeover of the AKP, the Islamist Justice and Development Party in the last decade, this process has been particularly accelerated and expanded.

In the meantime, the urban expansion program is also designed to become a conveyer of the neo- conservatism of social values reflecting political Islam’s agenda and the conservative ideology of the capital power. The new buildings promoted by the government and developers tend to adopt a pastiche style, combining eccentric postmodern “high-tech” looks with motifs of reinvented “tradition” and neo-Ottoman “memory.” This is imposing a new container for the secularist modernism created in the previous decades. Moreover, some symbolic gestures have been made to build a greater number of mosques and other buildings with Islamic imageries. Currently, the Çamlıca Camii Külliyesi (Çamlıca Mosque Complex), Turkey’s largest mosque, is being built on the Asian side overlooking the Bosphorus Strait.

This seems to introduce a model of “good life” for the population. In truth, this rather tends to camouflage the contradictions and violence exerted upon normal citizens, namely the majority who suffer from this mutation owing to the loss of their households, cultural roots, and freedom. Social division and replacement of the secular values symbolized by urban environment and architecture have provoked widespread protest and resistance. The events that took place in Gezi Park and Taksim Square in 2013, involving occupation by the citizens, especially young activists and artists, was the ultimate outcry of this resistance movement.

ISTANBUL. PASSION, JOY, FURY was on show in 2016 at MAXXI Rome.
share Just Before Paradise
BURAK DELIER, Crisis and Control, 2013 Production still, HD Video Courtesy of the artist and PILOT Gallery, Istanbul Photo Rıdvan Bayrakoğlu
CENGIZ TEKIN, Just Before Paradise, 2015, Courtesy the artist
HALIL ALTINDERE, Wonderland, 2013, video 8’ 25”, Courtesy the Artist and PILOT Gallery, Istanbul
AHMET ÖGÜT, Pleasure Places of All Kinds; Fikirtepe Quarter, 2014 installation view at Horst-Janssen-Museum, Oldenburg Courtesy the artist
VAHAP AVSAR, Road to Arguvan, 2013, Single channel video, Courtesy the Artist and Rampa Istanbul
VAHAP AVSAR, Road to Arguvan, 2013, Single channel video, Courtesy the Artist and Rampa Istanbul
NASAN TUR, Preparation no.1, 2010
SERKAN TAYCAN, Shell, 2012 – 2013, Archival pigment print on aluminum, Courtesy the artist
SENER ÖZMEN, On the Road, 2012, C-print mounted on aluminium, 120x180 cm Courtesy of the artist and PILOT Gallery, Istanbul
CEREN OYKUT, Atlas of Interruptions 2014, acrylic on walls Jerusalem Show VII, Fractures, Intervals site-specific installation in Hammam Al Shifa, Centre for Jerusalem Studies, Al Quds University photo by Rula Halawani
CEREN OYKUT, Atlas of Interruptions 2014, acrylic on walls Jerusalem Show VII, Fractures, Intervals site-specific installation in Hammam Al Shifa, Centre for Jerusalem Studies, Al Quds University photo by Rula Halawani
OSMAN BOZKURT, Post-Resistance, 2013 C-Prints, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist
NILBAR GÜRES, Rose of Sapatão, 2014, Wire, modelling clay, single 41 nr. male shoe, ceramic object, a pedestal, lacework Courtesy the Artist, Rampa (Istanbul) and Galerie Martin Janda (Vienna) Photo Chroma Istanbul – Marco Gorgatti
DİDEM ÖZBEK Public Change, 2014 HD video 4’ 16’’ Courtesy the artist
NILBAR GÜRES, Overhead, from the series TrabZONE, 2010 C-print photograph, 152 x 103x 4 cm
INCI EVINER, Nursing Modern Fall, 2012 HD video, 3 minloop Video still
HERA BÜYÜKTASÇIYAN, In Situ, drawings, soap, PiST///, Istanbul 2013 Photo by PiST///
FIKRET ATAY, Theorists, 2008, Colour video, sound Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel © Fikret Atay
FIKRET ATAY, Good Year, 2006 Colour video, sound Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel © Fikret Atay
FIKRET ATAY, Good Year, 2006 Colour video, sound Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel © Fikret Atay
EXTRASTRUGGLE, Rose Garden With the Epilogue, 2013 Video, 4’ 59”
EXTRASTRUGGLE, Rose Garden With the Epilogue, 2013 Video, 4’ 59”
EXTRASTRUGGLE, Rose Garden With the Epilogue, 2013 Video, 4’ 59”
VOLKAN ASLAN, Dear Istanbul, 2015 dry cargo ship model - wood, plexiglas, soil 350 x 30 x 55 cm courtesy the Artist – photos Volkan Aslan
ANTONIO COSENTINO, The Istanbul Atlas, 1996 – 2015 Installation: prints on paper
ALI TAPTIK, from the series Drift - Kaza ve Kader, 2004-2008 60x60cm C-Print
ALI TAPTIK, from the series Tangent, 2004-2011 artist's work prints C-Print, various dimensions
ALI TAPTIK, from the series Drift - Nothing Surprising, 2009-2013 60x60cm C-Print
ALI TAPTIK, from the series Tangent, 2004-2011 artist's work prints C-Print, various dimensions
ALI TAPTIK, from the series Drift - Nothing Surprising, 2009-2013 60x60cm C-Print
ALI TAPTIK, from the series Drift - Nothing Surprising, 2009-2013 60x60cm C-Print
ZEYNO PEKÜNLÜ, At the Edge of All Possibles, 2014 Lecture Performance, 50 min. Foto Mustafa Hazneci
ALI TAPTIK, from the series Drift - Nothing Surprising, 2009-2013 60x60cm C-Print
ZEYNO PEKÜNLÜ, At the Edge of All Possibles, 2014 Lecture Performance, 50 min. Foto Mustafa Hazneci
HALIL ALTINDERE, Carpet Land, 2012, C-print mounted on aluminium, 100x170 cm Courtesy of the artist and PILOT Gallery, Istanbul
penccil: This was 2017
The penccil year in review is a project selection for 2017, this year curated by Mario Gagliardi. Se...
serpentine 2017
exhibition, schauspiel köln, cologne. steelobjects, ceramic reliefs.
temporary accessible sculpture.
We Ar
University of Sunderland MA Glass and Ceramics Show
UNTITLED PROJECT: CABIN [THOREAU] [ANGLET], 2016 –– a carved and painted replica of Henry David ...
Untitled Project: Honda CB77 Superhawk
UNTITLED PROJECT: HONDA CB77 SUPER HAWK, oil paint on carved wood, 2013-2014 –– A carved/painted...
Franz Kline
Around 1950, Franz Kline radically simplified painting: “Instead of making a sign you can read, yo...
New Generation
Experiemntal art
What Is A Simulation?
What is a simulation? It is a private game we devise when the aliveness of a situation is too comple...
The art of improvising art
The recently abandoned administrative headquarters of Austrian Post, an imposing turn of the century...
Memphis Posters
4 posters by the legendary Italian design collective Memphis Milano.
A Flat Named Desire
An inspirational collection of interior objects.
Food Architecture
Food dal cucchiaio al mondo: Works of artists and architects who deal with the global political, soc...
Martin Kippenberger (born 1953 in Dortmund, died 1997 in Vienna) is one of the foremost and simultan...
“I perhaps owe it to flowers that I became a painter.”
Arguably the most important painter of gardens in the history of art, Monet was also an avid horticu...
Painting is seen as a form of practice that—contrary to canonical accounts—in no way shies away ...
Total Automation
In The Promise of Total Automation, artists examine technology in its complexity. They point out our...
German Art since 1960
German ‘paragons of painting’ such as Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff and Markus Lüpertz have ...
Jean Lurçat
Jean Lurcat, painter, poet and ceramicist, great renovator of contemporary French tapestry, produced...
Scum Pixel
'Scum' refers to a foamy layer or mass that forms on the surface of liquid when it is boiled or ferm...
The Bauhaus Revolution
The Bauhaus was the most influential design school of the 20th century. See more in the new magazin...
In Infinity
Yayoi Kusama’s unique imagery spring from the recurring hallucinations that have haunted her since...
Cerith Wyn Evans is a Welsh sculptor and filmmaker. He worked as an assistant to Derek Jarman, at th...
In Orbit
"When I look at these complex layers of translucent lines and spheres, I am reminded of models of th...
Sislej Xhafa
Sislej Xhafa has furnished the waiting room of a police station in Gent like a grand palace. He pres...
Future Architecture
Future Architecture Platform is a European program which promotes talents in architecture. Future A...
reversed silhouettes
Eric Giraudet de Boudemange
Eric Giraudet de Boudemange (1983) graduated in 2007 from the National School of Fine Arts in Paris ...
Christian Herdeg: Kunst und Bau
Christian Herdeg was born 1942 in Zurich. Trained as a photographer, cameraman and lighting technici...
Obsolete Distinction
In contemporary society, the digital world pervades the physical to such an extent that any distinct...
“I’m not supposed to talk about it”
Nine artists were invited to exhibit in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital of the unknown. The enti...
Francois Morellet 1926 - 2016
Since he first began making work in the 1950s, Morellet has been engaged in creating work which has ...
Xavier Antin: Printing at Home
A printer manual to disturb and disrupt the printing process. Xavier Antin, born in 1981, lives and ...
The Oily Actor
“I had been looking around these ideas of systemic crisis, global financial crisis, which is what ...
Jewelry Design Art
Jewelry Art design pattern inspired from nonlinear dynamics. Drawings collection about fluid flows...
BASILE ARTECO "Falce/Scythe" design anonimo
Design Anonimo, Scythe in forged iron handmade in Italy in the occasion of the exhibition of the "FE...
BASILE ARTECO "Ferro/D" design Enzo Mari
DESIGN ENZO MARI: Forged iron and Murano Glass Vase, Limited Edition of 6, numbered and signed by th...
BASILE ARTECO "Ferro/B" design Enzo Mari
DESIGN ENZO MARI: Forged iron fruit-bowl, Limited Edition of 6 numberd and signed by the Author Enzo...
Universality of the Vortex-Sphere Archetype
The Universality of the Vortex-Sphere Archetype - Code nature sign language Following the entire pr...
Colliding Worlds
Architectural models of small planets appear in unexpected places. (C) Mario Gagliardi 2007
Untitled Project: GOLD /eBAY
Palmyra, End of March, 2016
Palmyra. City of Mesopotamia, city of the Phoenicians, of the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Persians, a...
Tamara de Lempicka (1898 – 1980) was a Polish Art Deco painter. She was the most fashionable portr...
“I have always loathed the material and have always sought the immaterial” Dadamaino (Emilia Edo...
Alain Georges Frank Jacquet
Alain Georges Frank Jacquet was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1939. After studying drama at the Unive...
Palatial Eliasson
Danish Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (born 1967) works in a wide variety of mediums, including in...
Pierre Besson
Pierre Besson: Fictions begins… Pierre Besson navigates between visual arts and architecture, and...
Damien Coupeté images
Julian Opie studied at Goldsmiths´ College (1979-82) under Michael Craig-Martin, for whom he briefl...
Make War, Not Love
Digitally printed charmeuse silk series 'Touchingly Unfeeling' by Jonathan Zawada. Jonathan Zawada...
German Painting after the 1960s
What is so 'German' about the art made by German painters and sculptors after the 1960s to now? The ...
“We need to understand that we have the same problems all over the world on different levels. We a...
안 민 정 Private Pictograph
Minjeong An (1981~) studied at Seoul National University of Technology. She lives and works in Seoul...
Eleni Karpatsi & Julio Calvo = (fos)
Eleni Karpatsi and Julio Calvo are (fos), working in the fields of architecture and interior design ...
朱敬一 Standing Ink
Zhu Jingyi , born 1975 in Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province, China, studied at Nanjing Normal University a...
The 2015 best of penccil
This was an extraordinary year. The world went through a series of shocks and shake-ups, and in betw...
Spatial Objects
Spatial Objects is the result of Dan Holdsworth’s ongoing enquiry into contemporary photographic p...
Ankara: From pioneering modernism to revivalist mimicry
Ankara: Öncü modernizmden öykünmeci mimesise Murat Germen is an artist using photography as an ...
FLOW by Lazerian
First impressions count for everything, a principle UK creative practice LAZERIAN responded to after...
Forward Retreat
Mark Tansey was born in California. He attended art classes at the San Francisco Art Institute and s...
Faces of the 21st century
Images by Thomas Mailaender. « Mailaender’s forum and sphere of operations is less the art worl...
Faces of the 17th century
17th century Dutch portraits from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Absalon: Cellules
Cellules d'habitation: 6 residential modules of 9 square metres, designed to fit in 6 major cities (...
Pavel Tchelitchew: Spiral head
Pavel Tchelitchew (Па́вел Фёдорович Чели́щев) (1898 - 1957) was a surrealist ...
Line structures from branches and trees against the sky or as a reflection
Zigzag Castle
Felice Varini was born 1952 in Locarno. He lives in Paris.
The Great Travelling Art Exhibition
Drawings created on the rear shutters of white haulage trucks are done by scribing into the layer of...
Open until September 27 2015 in Weston super Mare. With art by Andreas Hykade, Amir Schiby, Ammar An...
Things As They Are
Erin O´Keefe is a visual artist and architect based in New York City and New Brunswick, Canada. She...
Jean Arp: Randomness
Randomness was a key part of Jean Arp’s work right from the creation of the first dadaist group in...
Trompe l´oeil
Rugs "Trompe l´oeil". Design: Mario Gagliardi for Mario and Casa.
gift: 礼物
gift, color on paper, by zhu yuzhou, 2022.
Paper sculpture
Choreography of pictorial fetishes
Afterword by WM Hunt These are photographs. These exist uniquely as photographs. The artist, Manuel ...
McDEAD ..and lovin' it!
In Australia we call McDonalds - Maccas. Maccas holds a special place in my heart... it's called cho...
This is an unused piece for the Australian comic ZOMBIE CITIES by Zorab del Rio. I can understand to...
This is the inks for TOKYO ZOMBIES, a piece I did for the Australian comic called ZOMBIE CITIES by ...
Comic Art, Illustration, Art, Line Art, Brush, Comics.
Ilustraciones para artículo: El Papel de la Familia (Hospital Sant Joan de Déu) 2023
Mixed Technique
Shop Them - DR NOKI T-shirts are here!
penccil is happy to announce its launching of penccil shop <t https://penccil.com/shop with fashion ...
Rug set "Pianeti", designed by Mario Gagliardi for Mario and Casa. Handcrafted in 100% New Zealand M...
curve wood
Title is affranchir la ligne, a public art commission for the lobby of a sports complex, plays with...
briller par son absence
burn wood
Surface N° 2
Arctic Paper presents Surface N° 2 – a second edition featuring a specially curated selection of ...
Coloured stones
The coloured stones is use Traditional Chinese Taihu Stone
The Demonstrations series.
A new series of paintings, oil on canvas, that deal with movement, the power and energy of the crowd...
A series of watercolour paintings.
Architectural sculptures
Architectural sculptures by K. Kegelmann as part of "Future City" curated by Mario Gagliardi at the ...
Francesco Vezzoli: Antique not Antique
Francesco Vezzoli at MUSEO MUSEION.
Inspired by Surrealism and some of the artists of that time (such as Dali or Ernst), I created basic...
Arte generativo
Ejemplos de arte generativo que sirvan de inspiración
Rudolf Belling
Rudolf Belling was sculptor, designer, architect and stage designer. In 1908, he founded a studio fo...
CoBrA Magazines
The avant-garde art collective CoBrA (Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam) existed from 1949 to 1951....
Alessandro Mendini 1931-2019
For Alchimia, design is a cyle: everything that will have to happen has already happened, and the im...
In late 2018, we proposed a strategic repositioning of Vienna Art Week. We suggested a fundamental...
Pieter Bruegel
During his lifetime, Pieter Bruegel the Elder was already among the period’s most sought-after art...
Territorium: Ars - Techne-Krafts-Cosmovisión
Colección de imágenes que soportan investigación a nivel de postgrado: Maestría Estudios Territ...
Writing & Design
Artists Abroad: A Woman´s Journey to Discover the Artists. Writer and Illustrator.
WRECK--Regeneration Experiment of Wasted Daily-use Ceramics from Chaozhou, China
WRECK, the destruction of decorum, the ruin of culture. BENTU went deep into daily-use ceramics indu...
The loft bar
Concept project of loft bar.
Stories of You
REVOIR is an interactive mirror, activated by emotion detection to create stories through visual lan...
One Hundred Thousand Games
One Hundred Thousand Games is an online game with unlimited levels. It takes the genre of first-per...