A 7-point guide to the not-to-be-missed exhibitions in Istanbul
Esin AŞAN - ISTANBULTwo big exhibitions in Pera Museum, “Stephen Chambers: The Big Country” (photo above) and “Andy Warhol: Pop Art for Everyone” (video below) have been open to visitors for the past few months, but they will not stay for long. The last day to visit these popular exhibitions is July 20.
Let’s take a look at five other exhibitions that should not go unnoticed, ranging from works by İlhan Berk to ancient cuneiforms and examples of street art.
Akbank Contemporary Artists Prize Exhibition, Akbank Sanat, until July 25
Akbank Contemporary Artists Prize has been established to support young artists and encourage developments in Turkish contemporary art. The competition is co-organized by the Painting and Sculpture Museums Association and Akbank Art Center. This year, the works of six artists who were granted the prize are being displayed in Akbank Sanat until July 25. So far, the most popular piece in the show has been the video, “Attention! Attention!” by Gizem Karakaş (below). The exhibition was curated by Katia Anguelova (co-director of Kunstverein Milano) and Sarah Raza (writer and co-editor of ArtAsiaPacific magazine.) Visitors also have a chance to meet these young contemporary artists.
Whispers of Extinct Languages, Rezan Has Museum, until July 25
The only ancient art historical exhibition on the list, “Whispers of Extinct Languages” sheds light to the evolution of writing since ancient civilizations. Designed by Kadir Has University’s Rezan Has Museum, the exhibition displays numerous languages from pictograms to cuneiforms (below). These languages include Hittite, Urartian, Lycian, Carian, Ancient Greek and Latin, and some of them are indecipherable or unknown. The exhibition sheds light on the power and diversity of language, the tool used to share and communicate with the outside world. Due to high demand, the last day of the exhibition has been moved to July 25.
Where Do We Come From? Where Are We Going? ArtON Istanbul, until September 12
This exhibition gives art-lovers the unique opportunity to observe the progress of artists from their early works to their recent pieces. The exhibition took its inspiration from “Atlas,” a poetry book by one of the leading names of modern Turkish Poetry, İlhan Berk. Throughout his career İlhan Berk has been working with painting, pattern-making and charcoal. The exhibition features nude patterns by İlhan Berk, as well as his works which date back to 1981. The other artists featured in the exhibition are Seyhun Topuz, Kemal Sayhan, Christoph Rodde, Mezula Dragonetti and Hüseyin Aksoylu.
Language of the Wall, Pera Museum, August 13 to October 5
One of the most popular mediums of contemporary art is graffiti, and this medium has not been a guest in the galleries of Istanbul until now. For the first time in Turkey, Pera Museum will be hosting an exhibition on Graffiti Art. The exhibition will “bring the street to the museum” by displaying works of more than 20 artists from America, Germany, France, Spain and Turkey. Different generations and disciplines of street art, such as Futura, Turbo, Craig Costello (aka KR), Tabone (below) and Funk will be exhibited. Selected photographs from the archives of artists like Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant and Hugh Holland will also be displayed in this one of a kind exhibition.
Plurivocality: Visual Arts and Music in Turkey, Istanbul Modern, until November 27
The exhibition that examines the power of interdisciplinary art, “Plurivocality” opened for the 10th Anniversary of Istanbul Modern. It displays the relationship between visual arts, music and sound from the late Ottoman period to the contemporary day. In the recent years, this examination of disciplines has been popular in many museums around the world; however, with this groundbreaking exhibition, Istanbul Modern brings it to Turkey for the first time. Curated by museum director Levent Çalıkoğlu and Çelenk Bafra, “Plurivocality” features painting, sculptures, videos and installations and artwork that combines visual and audio elements. By the entrance, a special section called “Repertoire” presents products of research on socio-cultural processes initiated by the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire.