BETTINA LOCKEMANN | Undetermined Terrain

Opening: Friday, 4 September 2009, 7 p.m.
Exhibition: 5 - 26 September 2009

In the spring of 2009, Bettina Lockemann created the photographic series »Undetermined Terrain« in the Turkish cities of Istanbul – the old Ottoman – and Ankara – the modern Turkish capital. Taking the discovery of possible evidence for a demarcation between Europe and Asia as her point of departure, she examines the two large cities in terms of their development throughout the last hundred years. Lockemann’s photographic series delves into the different aspects and layers of the urban context. She shows both the familiar and the Other, penetrating deep into the urban space. Remarkable here is how the observer is faced with a distorted outlook: image details are chosen in such a way that neither scenes nor panoramas are visible to the full but are constantly blocked out by cars, hoardings or house walls. 

Viewers are confronted with traces of societal change in urban and suburban space. The depth of this change remains fuzzy. When did it begin? Only a few years ago? Perhaps as far back as Atatürk’s spectacular interventions in Turkish society? Or do currently visible transitions, upheavals and transgressions in fact signify the very continuity of change, a characteristic feature of this society between disparate cultural areas of influence in the geographic in-between? Although there is adequate evidence of a process in motion, there is no indication of what it is or where it is leading. 

This uncertainty unfolds in Bettina Lockemann’s images. A historic constellation serves as the conceptual guideline: nineteenth-century Istanbul is displayed as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious metropolis, where individual groups lived »back to back«, were hardly aware of each other und thus failed to develop common perspectives with their different, close or distant, neighbours. Lockemann picks up on this lack of awareness in her photographs – a result of perceived surprises, sensitivities or political constraints. The subject of turning away and ignoring is addressed by means of blocked views. In this way the fragmentation and interstices of Turkish society – for Europeans almost impossible to grasp – become perceptible. 

The project is sponsored by: 



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