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Mutating Cities: London.Istanbul Muta-morphosis

Murat Germen

17 January - 23 January 2024

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. Has an MArch degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he went as a Fulbright scholar and received an AIA Henry Adams Gold Medal for academic excellence. Murat works as a professor of art, photography and new media at Sabanci University in Istanbul. Having many papers, photo series published on architecture and photography in various publications; he has lectured at tens of conferences internationally.

His oeuvres focuses on the impacts of over-urbanisation, gentrification, dispossession, new forms of imperialism, civic rights, participatory citizenship, sustainability of local cultures, human devastation of nature, climate change, global warming and water rights. Representation, simulation, interpretations of history, objectivity pledges, hegemonic grids, these are some of the topics Murat Germen's work interacts with.

“Muta-morphosis”, a combination of the notions of mutation and metamorphosis, refers to the dynamics in between urban components that can persist perpetually and vanish in context of the various historical, residential and business districts. The lack of a single dominating perspectival structure in the substantially condensed metropolitan imagery can be associated with traditional Ottoman miniature making.

A similar connection is made by Stephan Berg (director, Kunstmuseum Bonn): “The city that Murat Germen creates in his group of works Muta-Morphosis evinces an inner affinity with Calvino's ‘Invisible Cities.’ Germen's works also establish a narrative that should not be confused with the city that is described therein. The city seems to collapse and partially to liquefy: skyscrapers and bridges are bent out of shape, become soft and amorphous. Entire metropolitan districts disappear in strange spatial ridges and canyons, urban highways resemble surging streams of lava, and buildings repeatedly look as if they have been chewed upon by oversized termites, thinned out into skeletons.”

Kerstin Stremmel (independent curator, art critic, Cologne) defines the artist’s practice as “Photographie Automatique” and further asserts that “Germen’s images at once effortlessly visualize the fact that in many places in the world rapid, urban developmental misplanning with a propensity for gigantism is shredding the existing infrastructure.” On the other hand, Necmi Sönmez (independent curator, Düsseldorf) sees Germen as a “cartographer mapping global cities and an artist who emphasises not the human figure itself, or its portrait; but its labour, its dedicated effort, and its urban creations.”

A private view will take place on the 17 January. For more information, please contact

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