Weekend gallery guide

What’s on in Istanbul the weeked of July 30–31

By Emma Harper | July 28, 2016


The weekend gallery guide is a new feature on the Cornucopia blog. Each Thursday we will share our pick of exhibitions in Istanbul to visit over the weekend.  Summer can be quiet in Istanbul, as many people submit to the siren call of the seaside and happily take their leave...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Photography

Young meets old

An orchestra is born: the annual reincarnation of the amazing Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra

By The Cornucopia Blog | July 22, 2016


As we’ve experienced in Istanbul this summer, music can provide a welcome distraction and act as a soothing balm. Yet it can also serve a deeper purpose, for both listeners and musicians. The Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, or Türkiye Gençlik Filarmoni Orkestrası (TGFO), spearheaded by the acclaimed Turkish conductor...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music

Harmonising on the Bosphorus

As natural as breathing – Ibeyi and Kamasi Washington at the Istanbul Jazz Festival

By Emma Harper | July 15, 2016


All sorts of sounds filled the garden of the old Beykoz shoe factory last night – the crack of batá drums, the deep notes of a double bass drawn out with a bow, the deafening reverberations of a horn section going full tilt. Yet the highlight of the performances by...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz

Classical music engulfs the Bodrum peninsula

The 13th International Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival runs from July 3 until August 11

By Emma Harper | July 13, 2016


Bodrum may not be the most isolated holiday spot in Turkey, but the peninsula boasts some quiet retreats, like the small fishing village of Gümüşlük. Far away from the hustle and bustle of Bodrum Marina, the sleepy town is brought to life each summer by the Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival,...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Jazz, Travel

Opportunities for artists in the second half of 2016

Applications are open for the Moon and Stars Project grants and the Turkey–Scandinavia Connections 2016 residency programme

By The Cornucopia Blog | July 8, 2016


When making plans for the autumn, artists would do well to consider the following two funding opportunities. The first is the winter 2016 instalment of the Moon and Stars Project grants, a programme organised and funded by the American Turkish Society. In a bid to support both emerging and established...
Posted in Books, Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Music and Performing Arts, News, Photography

Found objects: 19th-century Ottoman imperial tents

A stunning example of these multi-functional mobile palaces

By Ashley Dimmig | July 4, 2016


On September 11, 1683, Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha sat in his ostentatious tent outside the walls of Vienna – as the story goes – luxuriously sipping coffee while taking a break from besieging the city. The sight of the Grand Vizier’s unapologetic display of pure decadence apparently so enraged...
Posted in Architecture, History, Islamic Art, Textiles

Bold strokes

The İnci Eviner Retrospective at Istanbul Modern exposes the artist’s unique visual language

By Emma Harper | July 2, 2016


I hear ‘Harem’, İnci Eviner’s 2009 single-channel video work currently on display at Istanbul Modern, before I see it. A large thunderclap reverberates across the exhibition space, followed in quick succession by the humdrum din of a crowd at work: coughing, papers being shuffled, a woman’s voice, the beat of...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Museums

Turkey’s lost ships

How Britain commandeered two dreadnoughts

By Roger Williams | July 1, 2016


The trigger that caused Turkey to be dragged unwillingly into the First World War was when Germany, unbidden, sent two battleships to replace two dreadnoughts that Britain had confiscated. Details of the events and the diplomatic exchanges between Russia, Constantinople and London that led to this historic moment lie in...
Posted in History, Talks and Lectures

What could that word be?

Lexiqamus, a new online search tool, makes deciphering Ottoman words that much easier

By Emma Harper | June 22, 2016


Anyone who has tried their hand at learning Ottoman, the hybrid of Turkish, Arabic and Persian that served as the official and literary language of the Ottoman Empire, is like to have encountered James Redhouse’s Turkish and English Lexicon (1890). I picked up my copy in Istanbul the summer before...
Posted in History, News

Fabrics fit for a Sultan

Ottoman Silks launches a line of kaftans with Glyndebourne

By Emma Harper | June 15, 2016


The wavy stem of a tulip, the fanning of a carnation, the lattice pattern created by delicate peony blossoms… the floral motifs of classical Ottoman silks are simply sumptuous. No wonder they were the first choice of Sultans, who commissioned teams of weavers trained in the art of silk hand-weaving...
Posted in Design, Islamic Art, Shopping, Textiles

Readers’ retreat

The Vitali Hakko Creative Industries Library in Nakkaştepe overflows with fashion, art and architecture titles

By Emma Harper | June 7, 2016


My visit to the Vitali Hakko Creative Industries Library coincided with the last truly cold day of spring – a frigid wind whipped off the Bosphorus, pushing the rain sideways such that no umbrella could prevent it from stinging my face. The normally suffocating humidity of the metro bus came...
Posted in Architecture, Books, Modern Art

Turkey’s humanity made transparent

Istanbul Modern opens a new photography exhibition ‘People Attract People’

By Emma Harper | June 2, 2016


From the mouth open wide in mid-guffaw to the two fingers softly securing a cigarette, Ozan Sağdıç’s 1961 photograph ‘Diplomats’ demonstrates how the human form can encompass just as wide and varied a topography as any landscape. Sağdıç is one of 80 photographers whose work is on display in Istanbul...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, History, Photography

Vinyl Icons

Persian Pop and Turkish Psychedelia

By Tim Cornwell | May 29, 2016


Once in a while a curator with instinct and particular passion hits a mark. In Vinyl Icons: Persian Pop and Turkish Psychedelia, staged in Newcastle, in the heart of Britain’s northeast, Sara Makari-Aghdam uses the work of five contemporary artists to construct a celebration and reflection of a permissive past...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Music and Performing Arts, Orientalism

A son of Pera returns home

‘Mario Prassinos: In Pursuit of an Artist, Istanbul-Paris-Istanbul’ opens at the Pera Museum

By Emma Harper | May 24, 2016


Contemplating the Istanbul skyline today, your gaze will most likely fall on slender minarets and hulking skyscrapers. Yet imagine an Istanbul where trees – yes, trees – dominated the horizon. It seems impossible now, what with all the çılgın projects of late, but this was the Istanbul (or rather Constantinople)...
Posted in Exhibitions, Modern Art

Digging into the ‘Tables of Istanbul’

Zeynep Kılıç’s film explores Turkish cuisine in Istanbul

By Emma Harper | May 18, 2016


In the first few minutes of Zeynep Kılıç’s documentary film Tables of Istanbul (Sofra Sofra İstanbul), she recalls how, early in their relationship, her now husband, Wayne, joked that if they were ever to break up, he needed the rights to her red pepper paste. The rich, slightly spicy paste...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Film

‘Mustang’ gallops into UK theatres

By Emma Harper | May 11, 2016


Riding on the wave of its critical success, the Oscar-nominated Mustang will be screened in UK theatres (in cities such as London, Oxford and Edinburgh, among others) starting May 13. If you’re feeling a bit lazy, there are also options for watching the film at home beginning on the same...
Posted in Film, News

Jewellery and textiles of Central Asia

A rare exhibition at London’s Asia House

By Roger Williams | May 6, 2016


Turkestan Journey, the current, free exhibition at Asia House, recalls a time a hundred years or more ago when women of Central Asia were adorned with an armoury of jewellery. The 60 pieces in a dozen glass cases are part of a thousand items collected over the past 20 years...
Posted in Exhibitions, History, Textiles

Turkish art in the city that never sleeps

Frieze New York, ‘Court and Cosmos’ and more

By Emma Harper | May 5, 2016


As one of the world’s art meccas, New York is always teeming with exhibitions, fairs and public art installations. This month a good number of the thousands of works on display are by artists from Turkey, both present and past. So lace up your trainers, because we’re traipsing around the...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Islamic Art, News

Stirring sound installations

Cevdet Erek will represent Turkey at the 2017 Venice Biennale

By Emma Harper | May 1, 2016


Turn almost anywhere in the Turkish art world – whether biennials, group exhibitions at major art institutions or small collaborative projects – and you’ll find Cevdet Erek and his stirring experimentations with sound, space and rhythm. So it was no surprise when the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV)...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, News

Turkish homes, memorable scents and novel topographies

Four extraordinary exhibitions in Beyoğlu

By Emma Harper | April 26, 2016


Over the next few months Istanbul’s galleries and museums are pulling out all the stops before the summer exodus. The following exhibitions in Beyoğlu are particularly exciting, and, as a bonus, they can be visited during the course of one day. Once you’ve had your Turkish coffee and some sustaining börek,...
Posted in Architecture, Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, History
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