- HISTOIRE DE L'ART / ART HISTORY
- Organisation du 10e CONGRES INTERNATIONAL D'ART TURC
My presentation involves an official Ottoman effort to define, conserve and display the empire's architectural heritage. I concentrate on a text entitled the Usul-i Mi'mari-yi Osmani which was commissioned by the Ottoman government for the 1873 World Exhibition in Vienna. It was an elaborate attempt to fabricate a history for Ottoman architecture, to promote it as a "national style" and to justify its universal status vis-à-vis the privileged styles of the "civilized world". I am specifically interested in delineating the multiple audiences targeted in the text; i.e. how the western conceptual tools and norms of representation were appropriated in order to find a niche for Ottoman architecture within the history of world architecture as it was formulated in the West. And, furthermore, how these strategies of representation coincided with internal political aims and dynastic claims within the Ottoman realm itself. I believe that the delineation of the specific objectives followed in the writing of this text will offer a closer view of the mind-set and the multiple concerns of the Ottoman architect working in a period of intense modernization.