Winner of sculpture competition placed in Taksim Square

Winner of sculpture competition placed in Taksim Square

Winner of sculpture competition placed in Taksim Square

A sculpture, which has been selected from 80 works, was placed right next to the Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM) in Istanbul’s Taksim Square.

A sculpture competition was held in April last year to enrich the architecture of AKM, which underwent a great restoration work and now welcomes art lovers with its renewed face.

The jury of the competition, consisting of veteran names in their field, chose interior architect and designer Semih Eskicioğlu as the winner. Meeting the criteria of the competition, the work was built right next to AKM last week. But the work is being criticized by some people, likening it to a mausoleum or the iron scaffolding of a construction.

Speaking to the Demirören News Agency about the criticisms, Eskicioğlu, said, “Everything should be criticized anyway, but the criticism should be based on knowledge. Accessing information is very easy today. I would be much happier if the jury of this competition and how the work was put here is examined. Then it would be criticized. This is a completely subjective matter. I prefer it to be criticized based on its story.”

As for the details of the competition, Eskicioğlu said, “The competition was open to everyone. I came first among 80 people. The subject of the competition was a sculpture compatible with the Atatürk Cultural Center building, has no meaning when placed elsewhere and belongs only here. It has a story with a longer subtext. I approached the story of the work in accordance with the subject of the competition.”

Eskicioğlu explained what he wanted to tell in his work, saying, “The thing that creates its form in terms of integrating with the façade and the silhouette of the city is the sound waves coming out of the opera house, metaphorically undulating it. It represents the spread of art in the city. Then it transforms into a form that integrates with the city. The lighting also supports this. The main highlight is that it is transparent. A classical sculpture could have been built here but this has a transparent structure.”

Eskicioğlu said that the sculpture is a humble work that cannot be seen when viewed from a distance.

An artwork should be respected

Commenting on the work called “Untitled Sculpture,” architect Ahmet Erkurtoğlu said, “Atatürk Cultural Center is a structure that reflects today’s modern architecture. When you look at the sculpture through the eyes of a citizen, it looks like a carcass structure whose mold was dismantled before concrete was poured. It is a competition project, there are important jury members. It is a work compatible with the environment and the massive form and function of the AKM building. From this point of view, it is a beautiful piece of work. Regardless of the form, I think that an artist’s work should be respected. If the jury members had chosen three works from among all the works and asked the public to choose the winner, I think there would be no need for any criticism or comment. I congratulate my young colleague who made this work. Architecture, design, sculpture are creativity. Here, the artist considered the form and function of the building. It is also integrated with the plants. I think it should be respected. It can be criticized but it is the product of an artist after all.”