We meet Finnish artist Ola Kolehmainen in Istanbul at ArtInternational 2015, a contemporary art fair where Galeria Senda, Barcelona, is introducing one of Kolehmainen’s projects: large-scale photographs of imperial Turkish architecture from the 16th century.
Turkish collector Ahmet Kocabiyik–chairman of Borusan Holding company and owner of a significant contemporary art collection—made the project possible by commissioning the artist to photograph buildings designed by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. Prior to this commission, Kolehmainen’s work featured abstractions and reflections of contemporary and modern architecture. A six month residency in Turkey gave the artist a chance to explore the legendary architect’s expansive design history.
Each photograph in the series deconstructs the architectural form of a Sinan building by segmenting the structure into multiple sections. Printed on high gloss surfaces, the segmented photos sometimes take up an entire wall.
Of Note: We recorded Fresh Talk: Oliver Beer inside one of Sinan’s masterpieces, the Turkish bath known as Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam. Kolehmainen and Cathy Byrd were among those privileged to experience Beer’s sound art project on the eve of the Istanbul Biennial exhibition, when local opera singers performed within one of the bath’s inner chambers.