Jale Erzen
Middle East Technical University, Ankara


The arguments in this paper try to show that the city is basically a social space and that before its fixed physical matter in the form of architecture and urban structures, it is the people that construct the essential character and presence of a city. The idea of social sculpture is taken as a vivid metaphor that refers back to the work and ideas of Joseph Beuys. Beuys claimed that events and actions of the people in a city were social sculptures and he illustrated this in his famous street-sweeping performance with his students. The city belongs to the people and cities are responsibilities of their inhabitants. In arguing for this, the paper refers also to the GEZ─░ events in Istanbul. These arguments lead to the conclusion that more vital and meaningful art of the future will have to relate to the urban context more than anything else.

social sculpture, city, activism, social body, new art



SAJ Vol. 6, 2014, No. 1