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The Naked Flesh Of Ataturk

Part 2 Project 2005
Robert Taylor
University of Edinburgh Edinburgh UK
Monuments to Ataturk in Istanbul locate his current direct action on the city. Although some monuments are not easily apparent, they all operate in a borderland linked to his radical political demonstrations

Ataturk used gesture with dress as a radical means to shape the city and country around him, propelling his mythical status and its architectural consequences.

The project seeks to dress the city more fittingly to the naked flesh of Ataturk: A program of speculative development integrating transport infrastructure and re-defining public space.

Robert Taylor

The many photographs of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk portray him variably as European gentleman, an Arab Sheik (for a fancy dress party), the ordinary citizen of a modern society, soldier, general, ambassador, even as monarch, but at all times, arguably, the ‘Young Turk’. This architectural project re-aligns and re-dresses the Ataturk statue and Conference Hall in Taksim Square, suggesting the metaphorical association between the figures of Istanbul and Ataturk. The re-alignments account for various narrative and graphically expressed intersections between the history of Istanbul, Ataturk’s political life, Ataturk monuments in Istanbul, and the contradictions of Ataturk’s costumery - traditional and modern, Asian and European - to present an architectural translation of the various body-costume gestures as buildings for civic programmes from bath house to administrative offices.

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