SALON is an object and spatial environment-based program in the framework of SALT’s Modern Essays series, which investigates different aspects of modernization in Turkey. SALON presents a three-dimensional moment/section of diligence and simplicity from the Ankara of 1960s, a period overlooked in historical research, a discourse still dominated by the early years of the Republic.
The main display is the original furniture from Butik-A by designers Bediz and Azmi Koz. Butik-A, which opened in Ankara in 1958, is an exceptional attempt to provide and produce designs that are far from the mainstream appetite of the period, yet offer a promise from within that particular time. The set of furniture including a sideboard, dining table, chairs, armchairs, sofas, desk, serving cart, tables is not an arbitrary selection but the relocation of a real living room (salon). Borrowed from the apartment of composer Ulvi Cemal Erkin and pianist Ferhunde Erkin, both key figures in Turkish music also as educators, this set of Butik-A items point to a placid sensitivity in furniture design and production of the time.
The two-dimensional architecture built in the exhibition space is the key to linking the materiality of the object to where it belongs. Projections of walls, doors, windows drawn on the ground is a footpath to the salon’s relations with the inside and outside. The architecture design project of the building in which the apartment was located was commissioned to the Bediz-Kamçıl office in 1956 by Yeşiltepe Cooperative. The cooperative sought to develop eight apartment blocks in Emek, which was considered to be the outskirts of the city at the time. Rahmi Bediz and Demirtaş Kamçıl − another design duo not well researched and documented as of yet − are architects who were actively involved in the expansion of the built environment in Ankara between 1952 and 1980, covering residential, public, commercial and cultural domains.
An intersection between different disciplines, SALON follows the progression of time and experiences through photo albums and interviews. The program includes concert performance of compositions by Ulvi Cemal Erkin and Ahmed Adnan Saygun by Borusan Quartet on April 18, and a conference on the referred designers on May 5. High school students are invited to participate in “Mimar Oluyorum” workshops, which take the perception of the object in everyday life as their subject.
Text and image from the SALT website.