An Innocent City

Modest Musings on Everyday Istanbul

July 18, 2014 – September 3, 2014


Curated by Ian Alden Russell, this unique exhibition focuses on the stories and illustrations of the everyday objects of Istanbul. The objects presented in the exhibition were inspired by the ones on display in The Museum of Innocence in Çukurcuma.

The Museum of Innocence houses a collection of everyday objects inspired by the characters, scenes and stories in Orhan Pamuk’s famous novel The Museum of Innocence. Graduate students from Koç University chose 12 objects from the museum, and searched the streets of Istanbul to find out about their lives. A tea glass, a coffee cup, a hairpin…each object brings an alternative perspective on the cultural heritage of the city. Recorded with stories and illustrated through photography, cartography and graphic design, the lives of these objects are accompanied by temporary loans from members of the local community.

As a contribution to the exhibition, the photographer Hasan Deniz created a new work capturing the 12 objects in the historic and urban context of the city. Meanwhile, the American artist Mark Dion wrote a postcard to The Museum of Innocence on behalf of The Jenks Society for Lost Museums that deepens the para-fictional bond between the novel and museum.

A book published by Yapı Kredi Publications, which contains essays of Russell, Oscar Ho, Patrick Cooke, as well as the postcard from Dion and the stories of 12 objects, accompanies the exhibition. The book and the exhibition were both designed by Ayşe Karamustafa.

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