Born in 1975 in Istanbul, Metehan Özcan completed his undergraduate education at Bilkent University, Department of Interior Architecture, and completed his master's degree on Visual Communication Design at Bilgi University. Questioning the existence and representation of the modernist space in his works, Özcan also takes into account the alienation that people experience with their environment. Working as a part-time lecturer at various universities, Özcan lives in Istanbul.
Within the City Limits:
Elephant's Gate, Palm Tree and White Shirt
Within the City Limits is a book project that narrates the daily life of Izmir in the public realm between 1940s and 1990s. The project originated from the research exhibition "Living and producing in İzmir: Authors of the City" that the artist organized in Studio-X Istanbul in 2018 with Yıldız Çintay Art Group. The group invited the viewers to remember some items in Izmir's civil memory such as monuments, sculptures, architectural structures, and landscapes from the point of view of local government, designers, and citizens. They conveyed the histories and transformations of these elements, which had formed the image of the city, with visual and textual material.
Inspired by the pocket size books published by Municipality of Izmir, Within the City Limits is designed as in 11x15 cm dimensions and focuses to ownership and belonging in three chapters. First of all, it tries to explore the Izmir Municipality Annuals in terms of civil memory, where important events, decisions taken in the municipal council and actions are shared. The fact that different directorates of the municipality keep track of the people, animals and plants in the city, sometimes as citizens and sometimes as materials, can be seen as a clue of how biopolitics has evolved in time. Also various official publications like the hand book of the municipal officer, which consist of the ordinance, regulations and fines infiltrate into the book as fragments. In the second chapter the stories of the items from the Authors of the City exhibition are; The palm tree, that was brought to Izmir to establish a Mediterranean city image and its invisible sister Eucalyptus; the "Lying Nudes" sculptures that the visitors of the Izmir Fair had been having pictures with; the "Memorial for Atatürk, His Mother and Women's Rights" which was built with the donations of residents of Karşıyaka; a footbridge from Konak to Menemen, Palet Restaurants which was founded in Istanbul and moved to Izmir. The last chapter focuses on the historical relationship of the public space with design, within the framework of the tension between the central and the local administrations. And the articles titled as; Forgetting the Shore: Effects of Land Reclamations on Memory of Place in Izmir by Ahenk Yılmaz, Konak Square of 1980-1983 Martial Law by Derya Öncül, Urban Rhythm Analysis by Duygun Erim, Apart-Type by Emre Yıldız and an interview with Sultan Gökdemir on 1989 Spring Demonstrations form its content.