Panorama is a piece of public art that criticizes the lack of public space, and the confused function of the few open/green spaces in Istanbul.
The installation design formed by artist Andreas Fogarasi’s “The Right View” concept. The Right View, about the view in Istanbul and about how the struggle for a view is a political struggle for access to the city just as it is an aesthetic struggle for beauty. The view is a public good, just as beauty or fresh air. These things should not be a commodity; they should be enjoyed by all. The ongoing conflicts between the real estate market and local residents are one of the issues underlying the work. Others are the history of the view in the city and onto the city, from within and from the outside. Finally, as the piece is positioned in public space, it also challenges notions of what public space means, how it is used and by whom, and who has the right to the city, who controls the developments and the lives of people. These are questions concerning every city, and Istanbul can be an example to think about these things.
The structure needed to be built so that it would be easily transportable, as it was going to visit important public spaces in Istanbul. In order for it to be portable and to give it an “architectural amusement park” quality, Panorama was designed to include smaller parts that could be assembled at will. Another issue was that the white circle had to be designed in an attractive manner. Hence, the “memory crumbs” in Andrea’s text were designed as carvings on aluminum panels that enabled the construction to provoke curiosity as an architectural amusement park. We believe that the lighting on the white shiny surface and the contrast of the grey of the rest of the construction give it an attractive quality.
Panorama may be functional or easily legible but it presents a happy surprise for those who will come across it. The confusion about its functionality enables the visitors or the ones who will accidentally meet with it to establish a complex relationship with the work.
Perhaps when the viewer spends enough, they become part of this installation and realize that they participate in this attitude that approaches the lustful commodification of view in Istanbul in a critical manner. The white circle that hangs there in an “illogical” way presents an attractive element that invites the viewer to the platform. To be left alone with this white circle creates the contradictory state in the backdrop of the beautiful panorama of the Moda coast.
It is very important to question the unchallenged commodification of Istanbul’s image and the fact that the city contemporarily is not only marketed horizontally but also vertically with its increasing housing stock. It has been years since Istanbul has lost its harmonic view ecology that its topography naturally provided. We are hoping that Panorama, by unhealthily replicating the dramatic congestion that the city experienced in the aftermath of the 1980s, emphasizes the importance of the inclusion of the remnants of this natural topography into the city.