The winds of change

Extreme Sailing 2014 in Istanbul

By Harriet Rix | September 14, 2014


Dolphins joined the 12-strong fleet of extreme sailing catamarans close to the shore at Yenikapı as the Istanbul Extreme Regatta got underway, and they were not the only things that were flying out of the water. The Extreme 40 catamaran was designed to maximise excitement for spectators; about as light...
Posted in Sport, Highlights

Take a shot

The Istanbul Photo Contest

By Victoria Khroundina | September 10, 2014


The Istanbul Photo Contest is now accepting entries for its 2014 competition. Launched in 2008 by Les Arts Turcs, the contest was set up to give international photographers the opportunity to ‘capture the importance of Istanbul’ – from both historical and contemporary point of views. Last year, 28 photographers submitted...
Posted in News, Photography

Understanding cocktails

Bartender of the Year

By Andrew Finkel | September 9, 2014


Some years ago I travelled to the Phrygian capital of Gordion to attend a recreation of King Midas’s funereal feast where the recipes were recreated through infrared spectroscopic analysis of the residue of the dirty dishes the mourners left behind. What I remember with most clarity was the Iron (Age)-Bru...

Gallery walkabout: Tophane

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | September 8, 2014


After the summer hiatus, galleries are opening up for an exciting new season, and that means our gallery walks are back. We begin in the gallery hub of Tophane for our first walk of the season. Ma Shulin, ‘Beautiful Drunk’ Start at the cavernous Ottoman arsenal, Tophane-i Amire, opposite the...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions

‘Images of the Other’ conference: an overview

By Victoria Khroundina | September 5, 2014


A fascinating conference took place this week exploring how cities are perceived through imagery. Scholars, architects, photographers, writers, artists and film-makers convened in a spacious and acoustically pleasing room at the sumptuous Austro-Hungarian embassy in Yeniköy, on the European shore of the Bosphorus. The conference, entitled ‘Images of the Other’,...
Posted in Architecture, Books, Contemporary Art, Film, Fine Art, History, Literature, News, Photography, Talks and Lectures

That celluloid spirit

Submissions for the fifth Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival are now open

By Victoria Khroundina | September 2, 2014


Submissions are not invited for the next Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival. The fifth edition of the festival, celebrating experimental film and moving-image art, will take place between April 16 and 19, 2015. This year’s theme is ‘Spiritus Mundi’, a historical term for ‘world soul’ or ‘spirit of the...

Turkey’s brain drain: is it reversing?

By Victoria Khroundina | August 29, 2014


‘There were no opportunities for genetic engineers in Turkey when I graduated,’ says Pelin, stirring sugar into her tea. We are having dinner at her place in Oxford on one of my recent visits there. ‘That’s why I left immediately after finishing my first degree. I wanted to do my...
Posted in News

Documentary sheds light on Turkish pop cinema

By Victoria Khroundina | August 26, 2014


This year, which commemorates the centenary of the birth of Turkish cinema, has thankfully been a very successful one for Turkey’s film industry. The biggest news of the year has been that Nuri Bilge Ceylan took the Palme D’Or at Cannes for his three-hour-plus odyssey The Winter’s Sleep (currently in cinemas)....
Posted in Film

Looking for Hadrian

By Victoria Khroundina | August 22, 2014


Earlier this month excavations began at the 2,500-year-old city of Kyzikos, in Balıkesir, northwest Turkey. The prize in sight? A relief of Hadrian. Speaking to Hürriyet Daily News last week, Nurettin Koçhan, in charge of the excavations and an associate professor at the archaeology department of Atatürk University, said that...
Posted in Archaeology, News

Sarkis at the Venice Biennale

By Victoria Khroundina | August 19, 2014


Exciting news from the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) last week, with the announcement that the artist Sarkis will represent Turkey at next year’s Venice Biennale. A new installation by Sarkis will be displayed at a dedicated new location at the Arsenale, which has been secured by the IKSV...
Posted in Contemporary Art, News

Images of the Other: Istanbul, Vienna, Venice

Learning about cities through images

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | August 15, 2014


Eagerly awaiting this conference in the splendid old Austro-Hungarian embassy in Yeniköy, on the European shore of the Bosphorus (September 2–4). A suitable venue for scholars, architects, photographers, writers, artists and filmmakers to examine perceptions of the three cities through music, film, photography, poetry, video games, popular song, the media...

Pando Kaymak faces possible closure

By Victoria Khroundina | August 12, 2014


We were sad to hear news that a Beşiktaş institution – well, an Istanbul institution – faces closure. Pando Kaymak, a favourite breakfast spot that makes its venerable kaymak (clotted cream) on the premises has been given an eviction notice, as reported by Culinary Backstreets on Friday. The café – featured...
Posted in Culinary Arts, News

‘Quick as boiled asparagus’

This month marks the bimillennial of the death of Augustus. David Barchard pays tribute to Rome’s sunny first emperor

By David Barchard | August 8, 2014


The Res Gestae Divi Augusti (The Works of the Divine Augustus) in the sadly neglected Temple of Augustus in Ankara (photographed by John Henry Haynes in 1884). THE ANNIVERSARY OF A COLOSSUS There are two classic images of Augustus from later ages. You may remember him as the grey, calculating, uncharismatic but inexorably...
Posted in History, Travel

‘The Water Diviner’

The new Russell Crowe film about Gallipoli

By Victoria Khroundina | August 8, 2014


To commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign, and more widely the First World War, any number of projects have been initiated, including exhibitions, conferences, publications and films. This Anzac Day, a number of Australian and New Zealand artists travelled to Gallipoli to paint landscapes for a centenary exhibition entitled...

Music to the eyes

‘Plurivocality’ at Istanbul Modern

By Victoria Khroundina | August 5, 2014


As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, Istanbul Modern is exploring the history of visual art in Turkey and in the surrounding region. From January to June, Neighbours examined contemporary art in Turkey and neighbouring countries with close historical, political and/or cultural ties. The latest exhibition focuses on the relationship between visual...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Music and Performing Arts

Greek isles, dire straits

By John Scott | August 2, 2014


Islamic nero, a work by Alexis Veroukas, is from the group exhibition Water, opening this evening in the Old Primary School of Chora on Patmos (until August 23). The show celebrates water and all it means to us. The intention is to raise awareness of the fragility of the marine eco-system,...

Japan in Turkey

By Victoria Khroundina | July 31, 2014


When the Japanese, New York-based artist Ai Kijima spent spring this year in Istanbul, she enlightened me about something rather interesting: the presence of the Japanese community in Turkey and the fascinating blogs they keep. Here are a few of her favourites. This Iznik tile blog is written by a...

Soft power

The Urartian Jewellery Collection exhibition at the Rezan Has Museum

By Harriet Rix | July 30, 2014


A lion with two arrows sticking out of its neck marches proudly onwards; a sphinx sprouts a dragon's head from its rear; a pot of fragrant stew is taken towards the King by a servant girl; a chariot rolls over an Anatolian plain. All these things were depicted, along with...

Lavish landscapes

‘Landscape’ exhibition at the Paintings and Sculpture Museum

By Victoria Khroundina | July 29, 2014


The Mimar Sinan Fine Art University’s ambitious Paintings and Sculpture Museum (set to officially open in 2016) is hosting a temporary exhibition of landscapes by some of Turkey’s greatest artists. Expert brushwork on canvases of all sizes in (mostly) gold frames from such names as Hoca Ali Riza, Hüseyin Zekai Paşa,...

A portrait of Turkey

‘On the Road’, an exhibition of photographs from the Nar Photos Archive at the Istanbul Modern

By Victoria Khroundina | July 25, 2014


How does Turkey look today? That is perhaps the question you can ask yourself when visiting the new exhibition at Istanbul Modern’s Photography Gallery. Curated by Sena Çakırkaya, On the Road brings together 75 pictures from the Nar Photos Archives, showing scenes and events from Turkey’s recent past. Whether it's a...
Posted in Photography
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