The Artist’s Journal: Istanbul

SantralIstanbul, Museum of Energy

Claire Breidenbach


Photo by Michelle Mercurio

The Museum of Energy, part of santralistanbul, though originally the Silahtarağa Power Plant respectively built in 1913 and 1921, now holds the means of an extensive collection of what I personally would consider historical art as well as contemporary art. Not only was the interior of the entire building holding different generators, elaborate control devices, and extensive equipment from just around 100 years ago, but the architecture and construction itself held its own aesthetic acquisition.

Fortunate enough to experience this structure in silence and solo grounded, I was able to be distilled and descend into all of its being, seeing it as a jungle gym to explore and inhabit. Upon entering the Museum, I felt empowered by an energy force myself- the vast walls imbedded by cleans lines of support, gargantuan machines which generate within their interior panels though transcend to exterior grounds, and the deteriorating yet neatly wound wires that still linger together to engage in an earthly mix of old and new, despite the fact that it is all manmade. These sub-sequential components enlighten the fact of the haunting history, the advanced technology of the age it existed, and also its reflections upon todays world. Its cleanliness provoked modernity, but its rust initiated its age; in all existence there will be paradoxes, contradictions but this is the enticement for wonder, as well as the depth to the story in which leads the foundation of truth and meaning- the generation.