Exhibition showcases Istanbul’s heritage along with contemporary artworks
Hatice Utkan Özden
Speaking at the opening during the press conference, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, said the exhibition stands as a reminder of Istanbul’s valuable assets such as environment and cultural heritage.
‘‘We can say, this exhibition helps us to look at Istanbul from its ecological and city heritage. Istanbul has always come to the fore with its heritage and cultural values, and the exhibition reflects onto these values,” he said.
While the viewers will have the chance to see the heritage and cultural assets of Istanbul taken from different collections such as Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum Collection and Atatürk Library Archives, they will also discover contemporary artworks along with the exhibition, İmamoğlu added.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Assistant Secretary-General Mahir Polat said that Istanbul needs a new City Museum and that they are working on it. ‘‘Having seen a part of the archive in this exhibition, we will be preparing for a new museum,’’ he added.
The exhibition showcases artworks from different mediums along with works dedicated and only made for Istanbul. On the one hand, we see Istanbul’s historical landscapes and ecological archival documents, and on the other, we discover contemporary artworks such as installations, paintings and sculptures. The exhibition opens a new dimension in terms of the discourse of the city and environmental justice.
The curator and director of exhibitions of Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts, Kevser Güler, said, “‘This Place’ aims to explore the possibilities of creating an exhibition that brings together history, narrative and representation in the city.”
An important aspect of the exhibition is its power to bring together archive works with contemporary art, allowing the viewer to discover all new and ancient heritage together. While contemporary artists try to interpret the city and its heritage from different aspects, the archive shows how the city has changed and evolved over years. Artworks of different eras are displayed side by side with artisanal artifacts, maps, industrial products and natural items, Güler said.
After closing down, the Istanbul City Museum works were archived in different areas, and now, it is possible to rediscover them with this exhibition. ‘‘As public collections and archives, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum and Atatürk Library-Archives enabled an inspiring journey with the voices they include and the plurality of the different routes they offer,” Güler said.
The importance of the archive comes to light while discovering how the curator approached the artworks, which creates a democratic exhibiting technique seeing all the works at the same place at the same time. The exhibition lets the viewer think more deeply about the city they are living in and once again questions how all the developments and changes affect the city and how that change will do us good or bad in the future.