‘One Hundred Years of Love’ in Turkish cinema

‘One Hundred Years of Love’ in Turkish cinema

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
‘One Hundred Years of Love’ in Turkish cinema ‘One Hundred Years of Love’ in Turkish cinemaIn honor of its 10th year and the 100th anniversary of Turkish cinema, Istanbul Modern presents its new exhibition, “One Hundred Years of Love: The Affair between Film and Audience in Turkey.” Focusing on the audience as an element that keeps cinema alive, “One Hundred Years of Love” examines the encounter between film and the viewer, and the collective and individual worlds created in this meeting. Curated by Head of Istanbul Modern Cinema Müge Turan and researcher and writer Gökhan Akçura, “One Hundred Years of Love” will be on display through Jan. 4, 2015.

Organized with the support of the Istanbul Development Agency’s 2014 “Istanbul as a Global Tourism Center” Financial Support Program for Nonprofit Organizations, the research exhibition is the first of its kind in Turkey.

Scenes from nearly 50 Turkish films reflecting on the special relationship between cinema and the audience were compiled and edited in a video for the exhibition. The video comes to the forefront as an important visual document, leading visitors through the history of cinema and the audience in Turkey, from the 1950s to the present.

Digitizing visual and written materials pertaining to the audience in Turkish film history, the exhibition also aims to make visible the memory of a history whose sources have been poorly preserved, kept alive only through personal efforts.

The exhibition emphasizes that movie theaters – the meeting spaces of films and their audience – are “audience temples” and offers a nostalgic overview of these venues, from the first movie houses in Turkey to today’s festival halls. The exhibition also highlights how relationships are established between audiences, films and theaters, through newspaper advertisements, film brochures and posters, along with a section on audience fanaticism. Observing that the majority of moviegoers are fanatics, this section features many film publications and objects of devotion: pictures of film stars that were inserted into chocolate bar and bubble gum packages, books on films, novels, calendars featuring film stars and other significant memorabilia of this kind.

Called ”The Audience is Fanatic,” this section also features three fans: Pınar Çekirge, 54, who is and still devastated by films in which Filiz Akın, “the imaginary heroine of her childhood,” dies; Metin Şamdan, proudly nicknamed “Şorayholic” and the president of the Türkan Şoray Fan Club, which he says gives “meaning to his life;” and Vadullah Taş, whose passion led him to collect around “five truckloads” of archives on his “universal folk hero,” Yılmaz Güney. Alongside items from their personal worlds, the section includes videos in which they discuss the stars they hold in great admiration.

“The exhibition looks at film culture and the love of movies in Turkey from the viewpoint of the ‘audience.’ Thanks to extensive visual and written archival research, the exhibition renders visible the collective memory of film history in Turkey, thus reflecting how cinema changes and transforms us and gives us the opportunity to reevaluate numerous sociocultural dynamics,” said Istanbul Modern Chair Oya Eczacıbaşı.

The exhibition additionally conveys the magical relationship between cinema and the audience by featuring examples of autographed photos of movie stars, fan letters, magazine covers and telephone meetings with stars arranged by magazines as promotional campaigns.

A special space in the exhibition offers a nostalgic experience, transforming the audience’s relationship with film soundtracks. Viewers can select songs featured in classic Turkish movies and listen to them while watching the scenes in which they were played.

The exhibition relied heavily on the archives of private collectors, among them Agâh Özgüç, Burçak Evren, Gökhan Akçura, Ömer Durmaz, Turan Tanyer, Cengiz Kahraman and Ali Özuyar.