Critical Line
A collaborative journal/project rethinking expanded contemporary art and exhibition; a sketchbook of ideas and practice. Please add, contribute, and collaborate.
Critical Line
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"Eye Catching is a site specific work that responds to the Medusa heads in the Yerebatan Cistern. I researched the incredible story of Medusa, realizing there is a very feminist psychological interpretation of the tale. Medusa is an extraordinarily beautiful woman, she was raped by a sea god, then through jealousy she was transformed by the Goddess Athena into an incredible monster with serpentine hair and a gaze that would turn men to stone. One interpretation could be that this is the ultimate extension of the power of female sexuality (stone as erection), and the fear and paranoia this can invoke in men. I created the serpentine trees to add to the enchanted environment of the cistern, as if Medusa’s sensuality transformed the environment and everything around her."
Jennifer Steinkamp
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Jennifer Steinkamp, Eye Catching, 2003, The 8th Istanbul Biennial, Yerebatan Cistern
Jennifer Steinkamp, Eye Catching, 2003, The 8th Istanbul Biennial, Yerebatan Cistern
Jennifer Steinkamp, Eye Catching, 2003, The 8th Istanbul Biennial, Yerebatan Cistern
Jennifer Steinkamp, Eye Catching, 2003, The 8th Istanbul Biennial, Yerebatan Cistern
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“The grandest of all is the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıç), so called because it lay beneath the Stoa Basilica, a grand Byzantine public square. It’s also called the Sunken Palace Cistern (Yerebatan Saray Sarnıçı) because that’s what it looks like.Whatever you call it, it’s impressive because of its size, measuring 138 meters long and 64.6 meters wide, covering nearly 1000 square meters (2.4 acres); its capacity (80,000 cubic meters—over 21 million US gallons) and its 336 marble columns.” Excerpted from: here.
“Located in the northwest corner of the cistern, the bases of two columns reuse blocks carved with the visage of Medusa. The origin of the two heads is unknown, though it is thought that the heads were brought to the cistern after being removed from a building of the late Roman period. There is no written evidence that suggests they were used as column pedestals previously. Tradition has it that the blocks are oriented sideways and inverted in order to negate the power of the Gorgons’ gaze, however it is widely thought that one was placed sideways only to be the proper size to support the column. The upside down Medusa was placed that way specifically because she would be the same height right side up.” Excerpted from: here.
“The grandest of all is the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıç), so called because it lay beneath the Stoa Basilica, a grand Byzantine public square. It’s also called the Sunken Palace Cistern (Yerebatan Saray Sarnıçı) because that’s what it looks like.Whatever you call it, it’s impressive because of its size, measuring 138 meters long and 64.6 meters wide, covering nearly 1000 square meters (2.4 acres); its capacity (80,000 cubic meters—over 21 million US gallons) and its 336 marble columns.” Excerpted from: here.
“Located in the northwest corner of the cistern, the bases of two columns reuse blocks carved with the visage of Medusa. The origin of the two heads is unknown, though it is thought that the heads were brought to the cistern after being removed from a building of the late Roman period. There is no written evidence that suggests they were used as column pedestals previously. Tradition has it that the blocks are oriented sideways and inverted in order to negate the power of the Gorgons’ gaze, however it is widely thought that one was placed sideways only to be the proper size to support the column. The upside down Medusa was placed that way specifically because she would be the same height right side up.” Excerpted from: here.
“The grandest of all is the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıç), so called because it lay beneath the Stoa Basilica, a grand Byzantine public square. It’s also called the Sunken Palace Cistern (Yerebatan Saray Sarnıçı) because that’s what it looks like.Whatever you call it, it’s impressive because of its size, measuring 138 meters long and 64.6 meters wide, covering nearly 1000 square meters (2.4 acres); its capacity (80,000 cubic meters—over 21 million US gallons) and its 336 marble columns.” Excerpted from: here.
“Located in the northwest corner of the cistern, the bases of two columns reuse blocks carved with the visage of Medusa. The origin of the two heads is unknown, though it is thought that the heads were brought to the cistern after being removed from a building of the late Roman period. There is no written evidence that suggests they were used as column pedestals previously. Tradition has it that the blocks are oriented sideways and inverted in order to negate the power of the Gorgons’ gaze, however it is widely thought that one was placed sideways only to be the proper size to support the column. The upside down Medusa was placed that way specifically because she would be the same height right side up.” Excerpted from: here.
“The grandest of all is the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıç), so called because it lay beneath the Stoa Basilica, a grand Byzantine public square. It’s also called the Sunken Palace Cistern (Yerebatan Saray Sarnıçı) because that’s what it looks like.Whatever you call it, it’s impressive because of its size, measuring 138 meters long and 64.6 meters wide, covering nearly 1000 square meters (2.4 acres); its capacity (80,000 cubic meters—over 21 million US gallons) and its 336 marble columns.” Excerpted from: here.
“Located in the northwest corner of the cistern, the bases of two columns reuse blocks carved with the visage of Medusa. The origin of the two heads is unknown, though it is thought that the heads were brought to the cistern after being removed from a building of the late Roman period. There is no written evidence that suggests they were used as column pedestals previously. Tradition has it that the blocks are oriented sideways and inverted in order to negate the power of the Gorgons’ gaze, however it is widely thought that one was placed sideways only to be the proper size to support the column. The upside down Medusa was placed that way specifically because she would be the same height right side up.” Excerpted from: here.
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"…looking at sights which had had their day and then, as it were, had been transplanted into fresh time, and bedizened up with music."
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
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Pravdoliub Ivanov, Ornaments of Endurance, 2011, cut carpet mounted on wall, 334 x 226 cm
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Pravdoliub Ivanov, Transformation Always Takes Time And Energy, 1998, Installation, dimensions variable, edition 4+1AP, hot plates, pots, tea pots, cables, water, electricity, time, Lothringerstrasse, Munich, Germany
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Pravdoliub Ivanov, Do Not Turn Off, 2006, Neon tubes, wire, plug
 
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"A soul without a body is as inhuman and horrible as a body without a soul—though the latter is the rule and the former the exception. It is the body, as a rule, which flourishes exceedingly, which draws everything to itself, which usurps the predominate place and lives repulsively emancipated from the soul."
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
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Jonathan Mayhew, from Geist Series, pencil and eraser on newspaper images, 2007-ongoing
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"Decades of sound, images and ideas are merged into one free falling seeming endless page trying to define ‘you’ by what you like. Old celebrities have the same value as a piece of fruit or a doughnut; it’s all being consumed at the same speed."
Jonathan Mayhew
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"Dreaming seems to be my biggest distraction. Somewhere that is always with me and one in which, I can get easily lost. It’s also the place where things in my head collide with each other and begin to make strange connections. Most of this is done during the day hours; the dreams at night are gone by the time I wake. My own darkness being somewhere to explore only when it’s light out…"
Jonathan Mayhew
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