Drawings For Home



DON’T BE LATE HOME, An Exhibition on House through Time
curated by Cem Sorguç
Istanbul Modern, 31-03/26-06-2016
Participants: Ceren Oykut, Cevdet Erek, Deniz Cem Önduygu, Hilmi Tezgör, İdil Ergün, İpek Akpınar & Funda Uz


Drawings For Home, Ink on paper, 2016


Drawings For Home (2016), Ceren Oykut
Drawings for Home is the name of a work process in which Ceren Oykut started her search for an interior space, unlike the landscape drawings she created by adding details of the daily life she encountered outside. She aims to explore endless spaces by turning from outside to inside, staying inside the drawings, among the details and playing with scales. Drawings for Home is a storytelling with the lines that is woven together with the exhibition. Sharing the same space with Hilmi Tezgör’s selection of literature in the exhibition, Drawings For Home uses selected pages as a space and enjoys holding a magnifying glass to what we scribble on the lines and the edges of the books.

view from the studio, Drawings For Home, working process, acrylic on plywood 170×152 cm, Istanbul, 2016


Istanbul Modern hosts the fifth exhibition of VitrA Contemporary Architecture Series initiated by VitrA and the Turkish Association of Architects in Private Practice. Focusing on commercial, tourism, education and culture buildings in previous years, the project continues to document and discuss the milieu of contemporary architecture in Turkey and provide a platform for new studies in the field by concentrating on different types of buildings.

The exhibition titled “Don’t Be Late Home” focuses on our oldest and most fundamental accommodation/living space in the human-space cross-section, namely our homes. The human being’s need forshelter is a historical and complex issue dating back thousands of years. Meanwhile, the debate of whose problem housing is has been going unresolved for a long time. We have lost track of whether it is a problem of shelter, a problem pertaining to the city, an architectural design problem, an interior problem of living spaces, or if it comprises all.   

Rather than trying to answer these and similar questions, the exhibition strives to crystalize the questions. It endeavors to put forth the reasons behind the emergence of these questions and the answers the human being has sought in process within the context of cities and the environment. While depicting the political economic journey of housing from the 19th century to date, “Don’t Be Late Home” also touches upon the living space and usage habits.

Curator: Cem Sorguç

Coordinator: Pelin Derviş

Participants: Ceren Oykut, Cevdet Erek, Deniz Cem Önduygu, Hilmi Tezgör, İdil Ergün, İpek Akpınar & Funda Uz

Visual Archive Consultants: Gökhan Akçura, Metehan Özcan
Curator Assistant: Amina Rezoug

Graphic design: Future Anecdotes Istanbul
Exhibition Design: cm mimarlık & Future Anecdotes Istanbul

Lightening Design: ON/OFF
Exhibition Application: BARN arch.

Exhibition Photos: Sahir Uğur Eren


details from Hilmi Tezgör’s selection of literature, exhibition Don’t Be Late Home, Istanbul Modern


On “Don’t Be Late Home” / Cem Sorguç

Most of us have heard this or a similar statement at some point of our lives, at least once, as we step out of the house into the street: “Don’t Be Late Home”. As the verb “return” (dön) in the Turkish title of the exhibition suggests, the goal here is also to issue a call to stop and look at the state of affairs, and reconsider the essence of the matter.

House, Home, Dwelling, Domicile, Lodgings, Quarters, Shelter, Abode, Habitat, Hearth, Housing, Residence…

In terms of their connotations and roots, all of these words signify the spatial equivalent of the verb to take shelter. As for their position in the urban texture, their clustering, distribution, and relations with other parts of the city, they are the spatialization of the societal structure. The debate of whose problem housing is has been going unresolved for a long time. We have lost track of whether it is a problem of shelter, an urban problem, an architectural design problem, an interior problem of living spaces, or if it comprises all.

The human being’s need for shelter is a historical and complex issue dating back thousands of years. Meanwhile, shelter as a concept is also prone to variation, to multiplying by thousands within geographic, cultural, and human contexts. The house
and the problem of housing that we articulate more frequently today dates back to the Industrial Revolution, and in Turkey, to the Tanzimat reform era. The plural state of housing, which has since been problematized with questions of by whom, for whom, where and how it is and will be built, namely the housing episode, emerges as of these dates.

In the exhibition, the political economic path of the house that indicates the state of making proceeds chronologically. A time line, which constitutes the backbone of the exhibition’s introduction, presents the actors, direct and indirect housing policies, influences, data, and results of the production that shifts from house to housing. The literary past accompanying the modern era in concert with the development of housing both in Turkey and the world complements the temporal flow of this part of the exhibit.

The house is defined by its user, that is, the human being which is its only rationale. If it does not have a user we cannot speak of a house, a home. The house changes form with its inhabitant, its user. It resembles its user. It finds the user’s everyday disposition, locus, habits, and preferences within itself. Their variability does not affect its shell; what its shell is does not affect them. The state of home is a microcosm of the changing conditions of accommodation, everyday life practices, and cultural, social structures. It is this cross-section of the house that gives us hints as to social and human transformation. The second part of the exhibition reflects a state of being that tries to demonstrate the spatial change within the home brought about by usage habits through the one-to-one human-house relationship; the spatial components of the home; the equipage of the home; its furnishings, and attempts to establish from within a connection to the temporal flow of the state of making (that is, to the first part of the exhibition).

The problem of housing, with evictions, ostracizations, displacements, voluntary and compulsory migrations, temporary accommodation, the change of ownership status and whim, the inside-outside of the home, the differences between those living inside and outside, geographical shifts, change of work habits and solutions, with urban boundaries becoming ever more ambiguous and evolving towards the manifestation of a universe consisting of a global city and peripheries, all of which we have been talking about for centuries, indicate that we will continue talking about this problem for centuries to come. What we mostly talk about today is the politic-economic dimension of the house and its problems, that is, the “State of Making”. However, both the designers and its marketers, advertisers describe and present the situation through the “State of Being”. In other words, there is a rift between these two “sectors”. Like a composite of the first two, the third part of the exhibition touches upon the internal-external variability: you relocate with your belongings; you relocate also without your belongings. Different lives are led in similar homes; similar lives are led in different homes.

Needless to say, this journey does not end here. The house, which is oldest building type, will exist as long as the human being continues to live. But will it be as we know it now? Are the forward looking projections concerning the evolution of housing conditions put forth for centuries trying to keep up with the times both through the modes of production of houses and also the constant reconstruction of the design of lives, or are they determining the lives and the habitat they exist in through their compliances with the given time?

Don’t Be Late Home, exhibition view, Istanbul Modern, 2016