Kim Bouvy

Tourist Information Rotterdam-Istanbul / Common Ground

Commissioned work, residency, exhibition
Perplekcity Rotterdam
Residency August 2012
Exhibition Rotterdam 14-26 september 2012
Extending into project ‘Common Ground’ 2016 > now

Tourist Information Rotterdam-Istanbul

Taksim Square 2012

In August 2012, I spent a week in Istanbul by invitation of Perplekcity, a collective for urban programming in Rotterdam (currently called Office for Metropolitan Information). On their indication, I photographed several locations in Istanbul that would be subject to change due to urban redevelopment in the near future.
One of those locations was Gezi Park, that one year later would become centre stage for the civil unrest and following riots, contesting the urban redevelopment plans for Taksim Square and the adjacent Gezi Park. I became so fascinated by the public life on Taksim Square, that next to photographing the different locations throughout the city, I decided to document the square during several days on several moments, on a more micro level, following the moments of the people and their actions relatively close. Obviously not knowing what would happen one year later, these photos became a document of a public life that was intentionally obstructed by the government. I portrayed the square on 35mm color slides, and presented it as a 2-channel slide installation in the exhibition next to 5 framed images of the other locations. In 2013, I planned an extension of the project to document the urban restructuring but had to cancel because of the riots. To compensate for my physical absence, I recorded some of the building activities and the riots as recorded live by web cams in and around Taksim Square.

Those images taken in 2012 will now form the basis for the project ‘Common Ground’ that has been lingering since 2016 and that I will hopefully pick up soon again. In ‘Common Ground’ 2 prolific urban spaces in almost opposite cities are brought together in the same space: Taksim Square in Istanbul and Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Both places are symbols of civil society, the changes and structuring of their publicness by means of urban (re)design reflect transformations in their respective political and social situations.





Sketches for slide installation



Sergels Torg, 2016




About Tourist Information Rotterdam - Istanbul:
In Rotterdam a temporary tourist information centre for Istanbul was created where Rotterdam’ based photographers Kim Bouvy and Hans Wilschut offered their vision of the highly populated city of Istanbul. The enormous changes that have swept through Istanbul are also visible in its urban planning. For Tourist Information Istanbul, they visited both the city’s famous and lesser-known locations, like the modernistic city hall and the residential area Bosporus City. The Istanbul bureau SO? Architecture & ideas devised a unique presentation with the work of the photographers and designers. Tourist Information temporarily becomes the fictitious centre of a city in another city.

In 2012 The Netherlands and Turkey celebrated 400 years of diplomatic relations. In Tourist Information, both cities were presented in a new way, as ‘promotion’ through the eyes of artists and with the works of architects. They were literally put on the map in another city, where the photographers and architects presented an image of the city, responding to existing campaigns with personal and artistic reflections. The artists were challenged to explore their artistic view to create a new and alternative ‘campaign’, exploring the sense of the city with their own means.

Tourist Information Rotterdam-Istanbul is a project initiated and produced by Perplekcity, Pieter Kuster and Emine Yilmazgil, a collective for urban programming.

Photographers: Kim Bouvy, Hans Wilschut, Ali Taptik and Serkan Taycan

Architects: SO? Architecture and Ideas, 2012 Architecten

Stadium, Kasımpaşa - Kim Bouvy 2012

Installation shots exhibition ‘Taksim Square’, - Kim Bouvy 2012
(double channel slide installation, 154 35 mm slides)