Ahmet Ogut :: Exploded City

Image courtesy of Ahmet Ogut.

Last Friday, I had the chance to head over to the
Berkeley Art Museum to check out some of their more recent exhibits, one in particular being Ahmet Ogut's "Exploded City". At first glance the piece appeared relatively simple, a miniature scale city made up of a random assortment of buildings, monuments and vehicles. However, upon further investigation I came to learn the important story behind this miniature metropolis.

Ogut's "city" is comprised of multiple extremely detailed buildings, each one unlike the next. Their differing architectural styles make it impossible to ignore the fact that these buildings don't actually exist altogether in the same place, rather they're a mix of structures from around the world brought together in one imaginary locale.

So what is the connecting force behind these different buildings you might ask?

Here's where the piece warrants a deeper meaning: each building is a reproduction of an actual structure that met its end at the hands of terrorist attack over the past two decades. Ahmet Ogut has captured them in the moments before their destruction, immortalized them despite their ultimate ends. A short story posted on the wall next to the piece provides a little context, telling of an adventurer, "Marco Polo", who discovers this city and its inhabitants as they exist moments before their destruction. Also accompanying the piece is a city legend naming each building, monument and vehicle, its location, and the date of the terrorist attack that destroyed it.

What I found most interesting about the exhibit was the exposure to a literal map of the terrorist attacks occurring in the world around us over the past 20 years, some of which I'd never even heard of. In a country where acts of terrorism are rare, I found Ahmet Ogut's piece eye-opening and very meaningful in its reflection on the world we live in.

Ahmet Ogut's mini metropolis will be at the Berkeley Art Museum until April 11, 2010. Go check it, and the other great BAM art exhibits, out for yourself before it's gone!

Kelsey Frazier
BARE Reporter

1 comment:

  1. thanks for posting this, i will definitely check this out.