The subway system, which forms the backbone of underground public transportation in Istanbul, evokes the image of the ouroboros for city dwellers.* This feeling is not only about a temporal repetition, but also an interrogation of the relationship between proximity to reality and reality to itself.
In his 7/24 & Late Capitalism and the of Sleep text, Jonathan Crary refers to an incongruity between Philip K. Dick's science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and the film adaptation of the novel, Blade Runner.** This reference is based on a passage in which Philip K. Dick talks about the confusion in relation to being on the threshold of reality: The protagonist of the novel, Rick Deckard, sees a raccoon. He had never seen a raccoon before in his life, because in the post-apocalyptic world the animals can only be accessed through Sydney's catalog and they are sold for astronomical prices. Deckard begins to question reality when he encounters the animal; he realizes that which is real has a completely separate existence from the one which is very similar to being real.
* A self-eating snake that symbolizes the cycle of birth and death in Ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations.
** Jonathan Crary, 7/24 & Geç Kapitalizm ve Uykuların Sonu (İstanbul: Metis Yayınları, 2019) pp. 101-103.
I have been looking at the Istanbul subway through this perspective. The installation is made up of photographs of a speculative city, which is very similar to Istanbul, but not Istanbul. I use the areas which are repetitive and nearly identical, as a result of very similar indicators, as the base. Security systems, operation fields, closed doors, and in-between spaces, which function to be perceived as if they are in the present, form the main atmosphere of the story.
The subway user spends time in the last remains of the underground city "whose time has not arrived yet," in a constant cycle. This means reproducing the story of the ouroboros once again.
© BURAK DİKİLİTAŞ — 2023