The project Atatürk-interface tries to explore the more than 70 years old Atatürk monuments in a more detailed way, than we see it daily in the public space. It selects 10 important sculptures and monuments done by different artists across Turkey and scan them into a digital computer model. The focus of the 3D scans will be on the face of the sculptures. The face is the characteristic and emblematic element that became like a logo/symbol of the Turkish nation (also money coins etc.) By using CNC technology each digital model will be transferred into a physical model. In a final exhibition the 10 models will be placed next to each other and present a collection (like a meeting of the sculptures that can not move in real world) The direct comparison of the individual models will generate a a following intersection off all faces – the “interface” – a new perspective on Atatürk appears. Its not about creating one more Atatürk, its more like a mapping of all of them together.
Austria, Turkey & sculpture
The first and artistically most important Atatürk monuments in Turkey were created by the Austrian sculptor Heinrich Krippel and later also the Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica. Atatürk himself invited them in the mid 1920ies to start the network of representation by political monuments all around Turkey. The professional artits should bring in the skills from their countries, which were dominated by fashism/regimes (Austria, Italy). At October 3, 1926 Heinrich Krippel created the very first “Sarayburnu Atatürk Monument” close to the golden Horn in Istanbul. The art historian Aylin Tekiner (author of the book “Atatürk Heykeleri”/Atatürk sculptures) registered two more Austrians in the Turkish sculpture history, Anton Hanak, Josef Thorak, who did the Güvenlik (Zabıta) Monument in Ankara 1934-1935.
The Turkish artist Gülsen Karamustafa (guest professor at Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna) used the Hanak/Thorak monument for her own art work, presented in the Viennese exhibition “The Monument and the child” at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2010, where she wrote about an “unfortunate language of monumentality” in relation to formal similarities to the visual language of fascism in Europe.
“Atatürk – Interface” could be understood as a contemporary connection to the the large Austrian oeuvre of monuments in Turkey during the 1920s and 1930s. Just this time not with hammer and chisel, rather than CAM = Computer Aided Manufacturing.