Small Fortified Buildings

The iso­lat­ed house stands like a bas­tion against the changes of the Istan­bul dis­trict Fikirte­pe decid­ed by the author­i­ties. Ahmet Öğüt, Plea­sure Places of All Kinds; Fikirte­pe Quar­ter, sculp­ture, 150×150×70 cm, 2014 © pri­vate col­lec­tion, Amsterdam

We peer into a pit dug deep into the ground. In the mid­dle: a last iso­lat­ed house on a mas­sive clump of earth. Nail hous­es, that’s what these structures—left in appar­ent wastelands—are called. For Ahmet Öğüt, these hous­es are »expres­sions of indi­vid­ual every­day resis­tance against strate­gies of state or cor­po­rate con­straint.« They are rem­nants of hasty urban­iza­tion process­es and, at the same time, speak of dis­place­ment. Öğüt’s mod­el rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the nail hous­es record this state of things as a warn­ing. And so, resis­tance to the relent­less glob­al real estate indus­try and spec­u­la­tive land devel­op­ment is made vis­i­ble in the long term and thus nego­tiable for others.


Plea­sure Places of All Kinds


Ahmet Öğüt




Istan­bul, Turkey

Ahmet Öğüt, Plea­sure Places of All Kinds © Ahmet Öğüt
Ahmet Öğüt, Plea­sure Places of All Kinds © Ahmet Öğüt
Instal­la­tion view of a nail house, Istan­bul. Since a law was passed in 2012, res­i­den­tial build­ings that do not meet the earth­quake safe­ty reg­u­la­tions may be demol­ished. In the Istan­bul dis­trict of Fikirte­pe, many thou­sands of hous­es, many of which were home-built with the tac­it approval of the author­i­ties, have been affect­ed by the demo­li­tion due to the accom­pa­ny­ing urban trans­for­ma­tion process­es. These changes have been cre­at­ing immense con­flicts between res­i­dents of the quar­ter and the city admin­is­tra­tion or real estate com­pa­nies for years. Ahmet Ögüt, Plea­sure Places Of All Kinds, Fikirte­pe Quar­ter, sculp­ture, 150×150×70cm, 2014. pri­vate col­lec­tion, Ams­ter­dam. Exhi­bi­tion view Van Abbe­mu­se­um, Eind­hoven © Peter Cox