When one wonders why stuff bought at flea markets is still valuable today, one can assume it is because “you buy a life”. However, this is not merely an average life. It is the result of a complex set of emotions stemming from the representation of Istanbul’s historical and characteristic aspect, romanticising the poor neighbourhoods of wooden houses which were demolished during the late 70s and 80s. A nostalgia for the period during which one lived collectively with the non-muslim communities.
The city has created a “market” for this culture. Especially the antique shops in Çukurcuma stand out as the most significant centre for this market. Though, sadly the people who deal in these goods have no direct or real interest in this nostalgia and romanticism of Istanbul. They are merely the middle men obliging those who feed off these emotions.
The most fascinating aspect of this market is the fact that the sellers also possess the official ID cards of those to whom the goods used to belong. The goods sit together with the ID cards so that owning them feels a bit like also owning the identities of their owner. In an age which defines class, culture and social position through consumption, these genuine ID cards have also become objects of consumption.
When we think about all this, we see the juxtaposition of time and space, or rather the way people manipulate time and space according to their purchase power. In this sense, situations to do with time and space occur which shouldn’t. Namely, memories metamorphose on a slippery plane and are redefined arbitrarily through objects.
04 Apr – 27 Apr 2013 artSumer