Murat Germen

Murat Germen is an artist, academic and archivist using photography as an expression and research tool. Born 1965, he currently lives and works in Istanbul and London. Has an MArch degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he went as a Fulbright scholar and received AIA Henry Adams Gold Medal for academic excellence. Works as a professor of art, photography and new media at Sabanci University in Istanbul. Having many papers, photo series published on architecture, photography, art and new media in various publications; he has lectured at tens of conferences internationally. His oeuvre focuses on impacts of over-urbanization and gentrification, dis-possession, new forms, tools and methods of imperialism, civic rights, participatory citizenship, sustainability of local cultures, human devastation of nature, climate change, global warming, water rights.

If artistic creation can be considered as an astral trip to the outer space, planning and architecture education taught me how to come back to the Earth.

Public space directs how we live and act, how we socialize and even protest. If there is no community and solidarity there is no city, no civilization; there can only be a »city-state« as the modern version of an empire, says Murat Germen, photographer known for his critical view on the home-town of Istanbul. Muta-morphosis, probably one of his most famous series, uses digital manipulation to show a dark vision of future cities: buildings cramed together as in a strange and dangerous mutation process, almost melting as objects in Dali’s paintings. Through his artworks, text and lectures, Murat Germen criticizes excessive urbanization, motivated by capital and not by human needs. He also documented Gezi Park protests, in which the political aspect of managing the city became very apparent. His photos can be understood as a visual protest and Murat Germen thinks some of them may turn into visual evidence of the urban crime committed by the present Turkish government since 2002, when it came to power.

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