Oren Ambarchi & Jim O’Rourke Behold

[Editions Mego; 2015]

Styles: minimalist architecture
Others: Ambarchi, O’Rourke, The Necks


during spring break of my junior year of college, my mother and i visited my aunt in Istanbul, where she teaches middle school English. one day, we were ambling about an old, hilly, cobblestone-encrusted neighborhood right before afternoon prayer time. it was so eerily quiet, we could hear our arhythmic footsteps boom as we crab-stepped uneven terrain in an alley between rows of modest homes and mosques. then, as if confirming that we were wandering in a calm before some some sort of surge, we heard a crackle from an unseen minaret and a muezzin’s sharp voice cut through dust that seemed suspended in air. then, in a staggered fashion from every direction, afternoon ezan (Turkish call to prayer) erupted and echoed for what seemed like a half an hour after each muezzin had finished.


these are just words put in place of sensory memories with which Behold has no natural connection. perhaps though, beyond its architects’ goals and inspirations, it is enough that through its presence we can make connections before words can replicate what it is that truly resonates. Behold both as an artifact and as a word doesn’t invalidate utterance however; rather, it invites unbound reflection. If it doesn’t ask that we take it all in from where we’re standing, then it simply stands tall and bold and unfettered before whatever chooses to mark its significance.

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