The various “gated communities” that Bonvin documented have blossomed in Istanbul periphery since the early 2000. Her work explores the many aspects of a model and lifestyle that first emerged in American suburbs in the late 1950s. In these seemingly idyllic residences that often copy exotic architectural styles and non endemic vegetation—reminiscent of the ones in TV shows or in the movie The Truman Show—spaces are privatised, walled, kept under surveillance to ensure a safe, quiet and homogeneous lifestyle from a social and cultural point of view.
In the Swiss photographer’s view, the aseptic character of these places contrasts with the intensity of real life outside, and it therefore presents a high degree of artificiality, disconnection and theatricality, “[...] as if reality had been built based on an image, after a model of the ideal city”. Thus the forced transposition of a foreign and generic way of life into a completely different cultural and urban context functions ironically, highlighting the price to pay for a perfect little existence verging on paradise.