New Civic Rituals
Project
Sundial of the Blind
Designer
Eli Bensusan
Project description

Supported by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Kadıköy Municipality.

Sundial of the Blind connects the southern hook of Moda Coastal Park with the North Star, inviting visitors to reconsider their location and position. It evokes the hidden geographical, historical, cultural and mythological layers of the ancient town of Khalkedon, where it is displayed.

By looking at the shadow of the ‘gnomon’ (the part of the sundial that is parallel to Earth’s axis), and locating the hour line on which it falls, you can tell the time. Direct sunlight is necessary, so one can read the time only between sunrise and sunset. In the morning, the shadows fall to the west of the gnomon, and in the afternoon, to the east.

At night you can sit on the dial, and observe the celestial globe rotating around the Northern Star, which the marble sphere points at.

The ancient town of Khalkedon was called ‘the city of the blind’ in a prophecy uttered by the Oracle of Delphi in the temple of Apollo – the god of sunlight, poetry, music, and healing. Thus several clues to a riddle are written in Braille on the sundial, waiting to be reconstructed by the observer.

This piece uses design as a tool to reconnect citizens with immediate and distant bodies and myths, generating a multi-layered image of contemporary Kadıköy that transcends temporal relations.

Biography

Eli Bensusan (Turkey) uses design as a means to express the myths and rituals of fictional worlds through objects, mixed-media and poetry. He communicates these myths by restructuring the layers of objects such as material, form, function, meaning, agency and poetry. Routine norms, beliefs and habits are highlighted by proposing ritualistic behaviours via objects and blurring the line between utilitarian and symbolic qualities. Based in Istanbul, Bensusan completed his Bachelor's degree in 2013 in the Industrial Design Department of Istanbul Technical University (ITU), and his Master's degree in 2015 in the Designed Objects Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). His work has been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Joshua Tree, Eindhoven, Milan, La Gomera and Istanbul. Bensusan has taught classes as a lecturer at SAIC and Medipol University, and a guest lecturer at ITU.

This project opens in October 2020.
LOCATION
The southern hook of Moda Coastal Park
Take me there
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