Sunday, December 18, 2011

The ten least painted scenes of Istanbul...

The above is a scene of the wonderful skyline of Eminönü, the New Mosque is in the foreground.

This scene to the left, on the other hand, is surely one of the least painted but bizarre scenes of the city, in fact even I haven't painted it yet!

The Valens Aqueduct (4th Century) with four lanes of freeway traffic running through it. There's something almost poetic in this. It feels like a piece of installation art at it's most powerful. The message is so clear that I'm struggling to put it into writing. In fact there are so many facets of this piece of.... er...sculpture  shall we say,  that even the fact that it seems relatively unscathed despite the minute by minute assault of the fearsome Istanbul traffic seems riven with meaning. I think that perhaps the best way of understanding this would be to place a video link of it to the 'Istanbul Modern' art gallery and market this scene as the latest work of some up and coming experimental film maker.

As I write this I'm thinking of the many great cities of Europe that happily build freeways around ancient monuments but the breathtaking audacity of running a bus route through a relatively narrow Roman arch is pretty original, congratulations to the town planners, the Byzantines would be proud to see their engineering genius enduring this long.

1 comment:

K Howell said...

Dying to see transport go through the second tier of arches!

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