Anatolian marble goes on tour in Milan with new exhibition
MELİS ALPHAN ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
The event titled ‘Thus Spoke the Marble: The Journey Alters You’ invites visitors on a journey of re-discovery, revealing the narrative qualities of the material. It also intends to be a place of insight, discussion and meditation as a perfect location for relaxation.International designers Werner Aisslinger, Emre Arolat, Birsel + Seck, El Ultimo Grito, Alfredo Haberli, Richard Hutten, James Irvine and Can Yalman are showcasing their work during Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile at an event titled, “Thus Spoke the Marble: The Journey Alters You.” The show, an exhibition about Turkish marble, will travel to a series of other international key destinations after its Milan premiere.
The project, organized by the Istanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association (IMIB) and the Aegean Mineral Exporters’ Association (EMIB), is curated by the well-known Turkish design studio Demirden Design and is groundbreaking in that its ambitions reach far beyond those of a purely commercial display.
The IMIB and the EMIB are non-profit professional associations which deal with all mineral-sector export activities in their regions. With this exhibition, they aim to communicate the importance Turkey’s natural stone industry gives to design and innovation, while strengthening the notion that the country is a powerful manufacturing center for these precious materials.
Spread over the 900 square meters of the famous Superstudio Più Art Garden, the installations by the participating designers attempt to reveal the material’s symbolic and spiritual power and demonstrate and explore the numerous ways in which Turkish marble can be used in both architecture and interior design.
Demirden Design asked the designers to reflect on the deep-seated emotions that emerge over the course of an inner journey, and to use this as a starting point for an installation that communicates them. The installation’s symbolic title, “Thus Spoke the Marble: The Journey Alters You,” invites visitors on a journey of re-discovery, revealing the narrative qualities of the material. As well as being a perfect location for rest and relaxation, it also intends to be a place of insight, discussion and meditation.
The exhibition also hooks into a 4,000-year-old tradition, in which Turkish marble from across Anatolia has been the basic material for great works of art and architecture, from classical antiquity to Byzantine, Ottoman and modern times. It also illustrates the creative revival that has characterized the country in recent years and its design and architectural scene in particular.
“Thus Spoke the Marble: The Journey Alters You” is built across nine platforms, each bearing an installation, and linked by wooden and iron pathways, representing the metaphor of the inner journey. The projects exhibited include a “Marble Rosarium” by Berlin-based architect and designer Werner Aisslinger, a stunning arrangement of marble slabs crafted into the shape of flowers and combined into a playful, secret-garden space. In another installation, the leading Dutch designer Richard Hutten invites visitors on a somewhat uncomfortable walk inside a crate entirely covered with polychromic marble that reproduces worlds and symbols from the realm of imagination. The Anglo-Spanish duo El Ultimo Grito, made up of Rosario Hurtado and Roberto Feo, has created an installation where visitors can sit or lie down on a gently sloping piece of marble, and James Irvine’s installation challenges gravity by suspending a heavy tabletop in the air.