The Adapting City: Muta-Morphosis
August 15, 2011
Our cities change everyday, in ways which probably escape our notice until it’s too late. Driven by temporary gain, or, conversely, a false inherited nobility, we choose to excise parts of the city while preserving others. At the time of our choosing, the selection may have revealed itself in the most logical and positive terms, but further down the trajectory of time, those terms mutate or disappear altogether, replaced by a fabricated, that is, more digestible history. The parts of a city which do manage to survive must always be willing and able to undergo further adaptation. Architect/photographer Murat Germen documents the natural selection of cities and builds on their fragments, creating imaginative, unwieldy cityscapes. More after the jump!
Murat, who graduated from MIT with a Master’s degree in architecture, now resides in Istanbul, whose blunt incongruities he presents across collaged panoramas. Entitled “Muta-Morphosis”, a portmanteau of “mutation” and “metamorphosis”, Murat manipulates physical qualities of the city–the perpendicularity of its buildings, the layering of its neighborhoods, the peaks of its geography–creating a multidimensional distillation of the city’s history displayed along one axis. In doing so, he hopes to reveal “the different traces left by various people and slices of time [which] co-exist as layers in cities that have a particular past.”
What he does is create a space of multiple perspectives, similar to the hallucinogenic/schizophrenic effect Kafka achieved in “The Trial”. As if controlled by a glitch-laden algorithm, landscapes shift, building skins warp and crumple, and trees bend and gnarl. Murat’s cities, which range from Istanbul to London to Amsterdam, pits the older, preserved districts against the manic construction of modern financial corridors and similarly transient residential quarters. The tableaus are monuments to those structures which persevere, while exposing the effects of a long struggle that is always necessary for survival.