NovemberArt in Istanbul


November is a super busy month full of ART in Istanbul. Instead of coming across one on the street by coincidence or not even hearing of it, here you  have a guide of what’s going on. Let’s go through what has taken and will take place throughout the whole month.

“ERDEMxHM” ..- 2nd November, TomTom Kırmızı: TomTom Kırmızı, the red building in the corner of TomTom Street, right next to former French Orphanage, hosted a beautiful exhibiton where you could feel like you were in the fashion catalogue itself. We owed the event to H&M teaming up with London-based label ERDEMfor this year’s designer collaboration. Turkish/English designer Erdem Moralıoğlu is behind the exclusive designs. The very same street, also had hosted a 4-day event, Design @TomTom Street, bringing together art, design & shopping last month in October. It’s a busy street, stay tuned for more activities.

“Door opens to those who knock” ..- 12th November, Abdülmecid Efendi Mansion: The area itself is historically significant, so the mansion is worth a visit alone (and this was the ‘only’ excuse to get in). The neo-Ottoman wooden mansion, originally built as a hunting lodge in the 1800s, was home to Abdülmecid Efendi, a sophisticated royal family member, passionate about painting and a caliph himself. From Ömer Koç’s collection, among the art work exhibited were, Daphne Wright’s ‘stallion’ and ‘swan’ lying between death & life (as if it’s in the intersection of escape & condemnation); Gimhongsok’s ‘Love’, a challenge to Robert Indiana’s identically named sculpture; Ekin Saçlıoğlu’s ‘Najin’ & ‘Fatu’, a tribute to two of the last three white rhinos, doomed to extinct; Patricia Piccinini’s ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ and ‘The Long Awaited’, questioning the boundaries of normal with unnatural mutants.

Biennial - “A good neighbor”..-12th November: Taking place in several locations, Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam was probably be the most interesting of all to host the biennial this year. The 15th century disused hammam hosted a dance performance entitled ‘body drops’. Pedro Gómez-Egaña’s ‘Domain of Things’ in Galata Greek Primary School, showed a house transforming into an autonomous space of pleasure instead of the sum of furniture. Fred Wilson’s ‘Afro Kismet’ includes a number of handcrafted items related to Ottoman culture -most remarkably contemporary Iznik tile panels- and the roles of black people, Afro-Turks, within it. Note that overall, the biennial brought together 150 artworks by 56 artists from 32 countries.

“Design Week - Potential of Design”, 9-12th November, Lütfi Kırdar: Welcoming Finland as guest country, the platform aimed to create a design culture with workshops, conferences, exhibitions and installations regarding fashion, industrial design, visual communication design and architecture.

“Unknown Epigraph - Patchwork” by İnci Pazarkaya, 2-30th November, Türkan Saylan Kültür Merkezi: This handicraft is delinquently believed to have American origins whereas the reality is it has originated from Asia, Anatolia. The poverty and the intelligence of women have created patchwork to make use of leftover fabrics as clothing or household goods. İnci Pazarkaya’s efforts to revive  this forgotten tradition has also ended up in a book, gathering her 40 year of work published last year.

“Istanbul on My Wings” by İrem Çamlıca, 4th November onwards , TomTom Suites: Recognised by her art from the beautiful wine labels of Chamlija winery, in her fourth solo exhibition Çamlıca takes you on a journey towards universe with imaginary wings carrying Istanbul. Other concepts of her paintings include dualism, eternity, frequency and reflection.

“March Past” by Mevlüt Akyıldız, 3rd November – 2nd December, Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Center: Where Ottoman canon balls were produced once, now stands an art center with three exhibiton halls as part of Mimar Sinan University. This month’s featured artist is master of irony, Mevlüt Akyıldız. In this restrospective exhibition, you can witness his 40 years of work on painting and sculptures. Mevlüt Akyıldız has started a tradition based on language games combining tragic with comic.

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