Vasif Kortun on
MIND THE STEPS
A project by Karl-Heinz Klopf at the 9th International Istanbul Biennial, 2005
Karl-Heinz Klopf has made nothing for the Biennial, but he is a regular in Istanbul and over the past years has harboured a fascination for the randomly formed, and often impractical, steps and staircases that stagger one's journey from the hill of Pera down to the Golden Horn. These step formations are not orderly, of equal depths and heights, or regulated in any way. Many have been built in series, one set intercepting another, neither doing a job, while together they create a sculptural space. Their presence is the result of a constant negotiation between the ad hoc character of the city pavements and personal interventions by the people who use and domesticate them.
In six locations in the neighbourhood of the Biennial, Klopf's obsession with such steps are highlighted by theatrical projector spotlights, which transform the quirky compositions into stage sets. Klopf's spots are everyday, anonymous and temporary monuments that do not function separately, but as one work, to be discovered between the Biennial venues. These subtle indicators are contexts for things waiting to happen. Invisible to oblivious passers-by during the day, these carefully selected moments become visible, like the stars, only at night.