From the 16th century through until the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Istanbul Imperial Arsenal served as the home base and naval shipyard for that transcontinental superpower. Given the striking history of such a place, OCULUS, a futuristic audio-visual installation on display as part of the Third Istanbul Biennial, attempts to blend its message with the significance of its location.
The key theme of OCULUS, one that is immediately clear upon viewing it within the context of the Istanbul Imperial Arsenal hall, is that of juxtaposition. While the building in which its housed is an exemplary showing of 16th-century Ottoman architecture, the installation itself is a geometric shape that could hardly have been conceived of during the Renaissance. Further, the sonic and visual displays pumped into and projected onto the installation add to the abrupt contrast.
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OCULUS is Inspired by the Istanbul Imperial Arsenal
- By: Joey HaarJun 23, 2017