Daniele Sigalot at Anna Laudel Contemporary in Istanbul
Istanbul’s Anna Laudel Contemporary opened an exhibition titled “Empires Ago” on Sept. 13 by the Italian artist Daniele Sigalot, who is well-known for his unique large-scale installations and unconventional mosaics.
Sigalot is famous for his large installations of aircraft, seemingly made of paper, but actually of aluminum. The artist enjoys playing with the ambiguity between the perception of the materials used and their real nature, aiming to create contrast which is the key to read his artworks. He investigates contradictions, irony, the ambivalence of both words and materials and produces works full of surprises and alienation, which also reflect the emotions of our times.
“Empires Ago” takes its inspiration from the Roman and the Ottoman empires. Sigalot is from Rome and he grew up in a city which still lives under the legend of the empire. He finds the impact of the Ottoman Empire on Istanbul similar to the one he has been experiencing in Rome: Both cities used to be the capital of an empire and very powerful and both empires disappeared long ago, yet Italians and Turks still have pride in their empires.
Sigalot created a series of maps of Istanbul and Rome which are made up of stainless steel. The maps have a mirror effect, reflecting the faces of the viewer within the views from past and present.
“I find such a big echo of the past to be both beautiful and sad. The truth is that those glorious days are so far and it feels not sensible to feel that we are still part of that past. I like the contradiction of these mixed feelings. For this exhibition, I am producing a series of maps of Istanbul engraved on stainless steel. These maps will be a faithful representation of the streets of different vital and significant areas of both current and ancient Istanbul. The city has been growing and changing through time, and I want people to look at their city and see their own reflection in it; into its past; its ancient glory and its very present. I am interested in how a city shapes who we are and my artworks aim literally to reflect this idea. Come and see how Istanbul shapes who you are,” the artist said.
Sigalot has been working in his temporary studio in Istanbul for the last two months and presents his works that have been produced there.
The exhibition will run parallel to the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial and will be open until Oct. 26.
The selected works of Sigalot will also be displayed at the 13th Contemporary Istanbul between Sept. 20 and 23.