Margherita Moscardini | Istanbul City Hills On the Natural History of Dispersion and States of Aggregation


AlbumArte, Embassy of Italy in Turkey, Italian Institute of Culture in Istanbul present:

Istanbul City Hills – On the Natural History of Dispersion and States of Aggregation

Istanbul, May – October, 2013 | Opening Solo Show: September 12th, 2013


The project Istanbul City Hills – On the Natural History of Dispersion and States of Aggregation stems from the 2nd edition of Anteprima #2, an international programme of cultural and artistic exchange organized by AlbumArte. It was realized in the context of the 13th Istanbul Biennial Parallel Events Programme.

The idea to initiate a series of artist-in-residence schemes was based on the fact that contemporary art is often produced through a process of creative research in the place where the work is intended to be exhibited. The practice of artistic residencies also allows artists to encounter a variety of stimulating cultural situations. 

At a time when Italian contemporary art suffers from poor visibility abroad and does not have an effective system to support it, AlbumArte gives Italian artists the opportunity to broaden their range of experience and become more competitive within the international art scene by means of artist-in-residence projects co-funded by public institutions in Italy and abroad.

Istanbul City Hills – On the Natural History of Dispersion and States of Aggregation was curated by Maria Rosa Sossai and sponsored by AlbumArte (Rome), the Italian Embassy in Turkey and the Italian Institute of Culture in Istanbul, with the support of the Agi Verona Collection, Verona and Visioni Future, and the Province of Potenza.

At the beginning of 2013 Margherita Moscardini (b. Donoratico, Tuscany – Italy, 1983) was invited by AlbumArte to be the artist-in-residence of Anteprima #2, in Istanbul. Her residency began at Palazzo Venezia – the official residence of the Italian ambassador in Istanbul – and it culminated in a solo show at Circolo Roma – Casa d’Italia, in the same building as the Italian Cultural Institute in Istanbul, lasting until October 2013. Although the project was initially conceived as a single short period of residency, it was reformulated as four separate periods. The first two cycles were mostly exploratory, while the last two were cycles of research and practical work, each one lasting several weeks so as to allow the artist to work on an original idea intended to take shape in an exhibition.

The subject of the artist’s reflection was the same as for the 13th Istanbul Biennial, also held in 2013, namely the changes currently underway in the communities and lifestyles of Istanbul, and especially its gentrification. Margherita Moscardini arrived in the city on the first day of the Taksim Gezy Park protest, leading her to have an intense experience from which she produced a deeply thought-provoking and evocative work.

 The solo exhibition Istanbul City Hills – On the Natural History of Dispersion and States of Aggregation consisted of several elements:

The main installation: On the Natural History of Dispersion and States of Aggregation (ad hoc intervention, ambient dimension). A carpet of shattered glass collected around the districts of Istiklal Caddesi and Kayaşehir of İstanbul covered the parquet floor of the main hall of the Circolo Roma. The main entrance doors to the room were kept open by the glass fragments piled up at their base, while the large French windows overlooking the Golden Horn were made inaccessible by the layer of debris on the floor. Thus the room was visible only from the threshold, from where a cross section of the thick layer of glass particles could be seen. In order to view the installation from other viewpoints it was necessary to walk through the service areas of the Circolo Roma, which are usually reserved for internal staff. By walking from the kitchen, to the conference room and through the ad hoc intervention, visitors could reach the archive of documents associated with the installation and its creation.

A video film, 5’30” long in HD with sound, was shot in June 2013 at the Özen Cam recycling plant in Kayaşehir district, about 50 km outside Istanbul, which crushes 7,000 tons of glass every month collected from all the municipal districts of İstanbul, and prepares the fragments for being melted down.

– A pane of glass, 100×160 cm, made by the company Vetroricerca, Bolzano – Italy, in 2013. This was made from 30 kg of scrap glass from windows, sent from İstanbul to Bolzano to be melted and made into an irregularly shaped sheet of glass. This was then superimposed on the window of the Light Blue living room of the first floor of Palazzo Venezia in Istanbul, which has a view overlooking the Bosphorus.

In October 2013, the main installation and associated project was purchased by MAXXI Museum of XXI Century Arts of Rome – which had shown an interest in the project from the beginning – and this work became part of the museum’s permanent collection.

On the 11th of October, on the occasion of The Day of Contemporary Art promoted by the Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art (AMACI), the book Istanbul City Hills – On the Natural History of Dispersion and States of Aggregation, published by LIBRIA, was presented at the MAXXI Museum. This is the account of the development of the artist-in-residence period by the artist and those who helped her in her creative activity. 

Istanbul City Hills – Natural History of Dispersion and States of Aggregation
Istanbul, March | October, 2013

Artist Margherita Moscardini
Curated by
Maria Rosa Sossai

Produced by AlbumArte, Roma; the Embassy of Italy in Turkey, the Italian Institute of Culture in Istanbul. With the support of AGI Verona Collection, Italy and Visioni Future, Potenza – Italy.
Artist-in-residence at Palazzo Venezia, the Official Italian Ambassador’s residence in Istanbul.
Solo show in the frame of Anteprima#2, a project by Cristina Dinello Cobianchi, Italian Institute of Culture of Istanbul, September 12 – October 3, 2013.

Production and Research Eugenio Crifò
Coordinator Alper Sen
Consultants Artikisler Videocollective, Istanbul / Ankara.
Technical supporter Vetroricerca Glass & Modern, Bolzano, Italy.

With the precious collaboration of Artikisler Video Collective (artista, Ankara-Istanbul), Rusen Aktas (curatore d’arte, Londra-Istanbul), il signor Atalay (proprietario Ozen Cam, Istanbul), Hera Buyuktasciyan (artista, Istanbul), Cataldo Colella (presidente di Visioni Future), Alessandro Cuccato (progettista-ricercatore, Bolzano), Giorgio Fasol (collezionista d’arte, Verona), Luca Gasperini (scienziato ISMAR-CNR, Bologna), Korhan Gumus (architetto, Istanbul), Mehmet Kacmaz (foto-giornalista, NARphotoAgency, Istanbul), Jakob Racek (manager culturale per l’Europa sud-orientale, Goethe Institute di Praga), Moira Valeri (architetto e docente, Istanbul), Erdem Ungur (architetto, Istanbul), Isik Gulkaynak (architetto, Istanbul).

AlbumArte would like to thank Rusen Aktas, Ahmet Aydin, Ali, Atalay, Alessandra Barbuto, Simona Brunetti, Hera Buyuktasciyan, Pippo Ciorra, Cataldo Colella, Eugenio Crifò, Alessandro Cuccato, Ilenia D’Ascoli, Paola de Pietri, Irene de Vico Fallani, Giorgio  Fasol, Luca Gasperini, Margherita Guccione, Korhan Gumus, Hou Hanru, Mehmet Kacmaz, Gunes Nusuh, Beral Madra, Anna Mattirolo, Lorenzo Mazzoni, Niccolò Mazzoni, Melek, Virgilio Perez, Giulia Prati, Jakob Racek, Caterina Riva, Gianpaolo Scarante e Barbara Marengo Scarante, Maria Luisa Scolari, Alper Sen, Moira Valeri, Nadia Vitari, Erdem Ungur e Isik Gulkaynak, Diego Zuelli.