The Golden City - Press Release


The Golden City
29 April – 6 June 2009
Lynn MacRitchie, Alexey Moskvin, Denizhan Ozer, Lutfi Ozden

A new video installation The Golden City by London artist Lynn MacRitchie has inspired a new exhibition of the same name which opens on 29 April at the Akbank Cultural Centre in Istanbul.

Timely subject
The Golden City is a seven-screen video installation filmed in the heart of the city of London. Shot on the streets near the Bank of England where in April protestors against the G20 economic summit fought with riot police, the video uses gold as a metaphor for the city’s role in the production of wealth. The video brings together images of Brazilian workers panning for gold, London jewellers displaying their wares and city traders hurrying through the narrow alleyways by the Bank of England, whose iconic sculpture of Britannia presides motionless over the ceaseless activity on screen. Eventually, the waters of the River Thames, seen at first as an idyllic cameo, spill over on to all the other screens. Filmed in 2008, the video was finished just as the economic crisis began, so its powerful images of London’s financial centre being washed away immediately became prophetic of the economic collapse which has now engulfed the world.

Hostile city is also home
The two Turkish artists in the exhibition, Denizhan Ozer and Lutfi Ozden, reveal another side to city life. Ozer’s photographs and Ozden’s paintings show the city as a dark and threatening place, a hostile environment that does not welcome those who have come there, often from very far away, to seek their fortunes. Despite its threatening exterior, however, the city does become their home, a subject examined by the fourth artist in the exhibition, the London-based Russian photographer Alexey Moskvin. His video, shot in London, St Petersburg and Colombia, shows how the notion of home persists, no matter how far away it may be. At the heart of each video sequence, changing models of houses, symbols of home, appear and disappear, fading into and out of sight as the scenes of country and city, departure and arrival, scroll on continuously behind.

International exhibition
The Golden City exhibition brings together artists from the UK, Turkey and Russia in an examination of the role of the city in modern life, whether as centre of wealth, heart of darkness or simply home.

Contact in Istanbul:
Denizhan Ozer

Akbank Cultural Centre
Istiklal Cadesi Zambak Sok No1
34435 Beyoglu
(0212)252 35 00 - 01

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