Untitled

This installation, produced for the 8th International Istanbul Biennial, contained approximately 1,550 wooden chairs stacked between two buildings to address the history of migration and displacement in Istanbul.

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1,550 wooden chairs
Approx. 33 × 20 × 20 ft. (10.1 × 6.1 × 6.1 m)
Site-specific work, 8th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, 2003

untitled-istanbul View larger

1,550 wooden chairs
Approx. 33 × 20 × 20 ft. (10.1 × 6.1 × 6.1 m)
Site-specific work, 8th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, 2003

“I was visiting the city and walking in an area full of ruins. There were so many ruins in a central area that I started wondering why—it doesn’t make sense that a busy area has so many abandoned buildings. There were legacies of a violent past where Jews and Greeks were forced out of their buildings, these buildings. It’s the process of this placement—of forceful displacement that is taking place. It was basically a multilayer of events that has been taking place for over 50 years, and it was a process that was very much alive.”
—Doris Salcedo
Interview with MCA Chicago

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untitled-istanbul View larger

1,550 wooden chairs
Approx. 33 × 20 × 20 ft. (10.1 × 6.1 × 6.1 m)
Site-specific work, 8th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, 2003
Photo: Muammer Yanmaz

“This was a piece that was in an old neighborhood of Istanbul that has kind of a special history. A lot of people during a period were forced to leave the city. Some locations became empty sites. So this piece was located on an empty site and Doris wanted to create a flat surface with a lot of chairs, kind of topography on this location to completing the facade of the whole square with one building made out of furniture, out of chairs.”
—Roberto Uribe
Interview with MCA Chicago

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“You have this chaotic mass of chairs in between the buildings that are standing in for bodies. . . . I think there is this compression of space and the kind of seemingly chaos of the chairs that suggests that psychological but also physical state that many find themselves in. . . . And then, the other amazing thing about this work is the flat surface. . . . So you have this bubbling, brewing kind of chaos behind a veneer of control.”
—Julie Rodrigues Widholm
Interview with MCA Chicago

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