Constructing the Table

Constructing the Table Between Anamorphic Disguise and Dissection: A Polyphonic Drawing Experiment

This video is composed of critical excerpts from an experimental architectural drawing project initiated by instructor Bahar Avanoğlu as a part of DrawingConstructions, an elective course at the Faculty of Architecture at Istanbul Bilgi University. Conducted entirely online during the fall semester 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic with twenty-seven participants, this drawing project has the challenging aim to create a participatory ritualistic drawing site in spite of the restrictive remote interfaces. Founded primarily upon esoteric practices which are inherent to architectural drawing, the drawing project specifically focuses on “the imaginal theater,” or what Marco Frascari called, in relation to mnemonic practices, “a world of images in suspense.”

With the desire to investigate the different semblances of “a world of images in suspense” and to resist the restrictions of the digital interface, the online exchanges are radically transformed into a polyphonic and theatrical site of a ritualistic gathering, whereby remoteness is transformed into a poetic distance. Relying on the critical relationship between memory and imagination, each participant was asked to simultaneously perform, construct and share their work tables cinematographically as the ephemeral space where their own ritual of drawing takes place. However, like chora, the tables are not preconceived stable stages where the act merely occurs: the very act of the ritual constructs the poetic site as a highly spiritual, labyrinthine and obscure table-machine as the foundation of the cognitive imagination.

In the anticipation that this poetic ritualistic construction would allow us to mediate between opposites and overcome common dualistic approaches in the realm of drawing, the tables are constructed upon the mnemonic powers of images suspended between disguise and dissection. Thereby a third unknown realm in between emerges and encourages us to contemplate the possibility of a cosmology of drawing.

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Bio of artists :

Bahar Avanoğlu is currently a PhD candidate at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and an adjunct faculty member at Istanbul Bilgi University. She works on architectural representation and architectural drawing in relation to esoteric practices. She completed her undergraduate studies at ITU in 2011. Following her graduation, she continued her studies at the MSci. Architectural Design program at ITU and presented her thesis called “The Unthinkable Space of The Realm of Representation”. She completed her second thesis project entitled “Constructing the Parallax Space’’ with the construction of a series of translation machines at MArch II program at The Cooper Union. She worked at Terreform ONE as a research fellow. Related to her academic studies as a PhD candidate and as an instructor, she is currently working on an experimental drawing project. Her drawings have been published internationally including the Architectural Review’s Drawing Folio.


The project ‘Constructing the Table’ consists of six stages: Stage.01: The Mirabilium, The Jar and The Scroll as a Within-Drawing, Stage.02: Constructing The Table, Stage.03: The Jar and The Anamorphic Disguise, Stage.04: Bibliospace between Riddle and Silence, Stage.05: The Dissection Table, Stage.06: Towards a Cosmology of Drawing (The fifth and the sixth stage are supplemented with two workshops: ‘The Polyphonic Translation-Dialogues’ by Manuel J. Perez III (musician) on December 23rd, 2020 and ‘Cine-Frescoes’ by İpek Avanoğlu (architect) on January 16th, 2021 in collaboration with Jenny Hsiao (architect).)

All content belongs to DrawingConstructions, and was produced by the participants of DrawingConstructions during the fall semester 2020-2021, DrawingConstructions is an elective course initiated and instructed by Bahar Avanoğlu at the Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Bilgi University. The fall semester 2020-2021 course was conducted entirely online due to COVID-19 pandemic. All audio-visual materials are recorded during the studio hours via Zoom by B. Avanoğlu and by the participants unless indicated otherwise.

The audio is recorded via Zoom during the studio hours and consists of the sounds of the drawing performance of the DrawingConstructions participants and musician Manuel J. Perez III.

The 121-second video entitled ‘Constructing the Table between Anamorphic Disguise and Dissection, A Polyphonic Drawing Experiment’ is directed and edited by B. Avanoğlu.

Drawing Constructions Participants: Danya Alaa Al-Khateeb, Sundus Adel Ali Al-Nakhif, Mohammad Al Sharabi, Selena Alay, Raghad Ahmad Saadat Alnajjar, Mert Aycan, Şule Çetin Beşir, Başak Doğan, Sara Mohamed Mahmoud Elarky, Alara Emengen, Damla Ertem, Ferhat Gül, Dohook Higazi, Beshr Jemieh, Omar Jemieh, Mehmet Olgaç Keskin, Amr Khabbaz, Yağmur Kömürcü, Kibar Öğütlü, Elif Öykü Örücü, Lolo Mahmoud Hussein Mostafa Saleh, Mohamad Moaaz Saleh, Salma Khalid Mohamad Altalli, Bilge Hümeyra Sayarlıoğlu, Zeynep Şahin, Doğa Tercan, Nihan Ugan.

Special Thanks to Guest Lecturers: Adrianos Efthymiadis, Marc Leschelier, Manuel J. Perez III, İpek Avanoğlu + Jenny Hsiao for her contribution.

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Theatres of Architectural Imagination Frascari Symposium V