Istanbul Modern is bidding farewell to its current building, Antrepo 4, a warehouse situated on the historic docks of Istanbul, with a group exhibition focusing on ports and harbours. After this exhibition, the museum will move to a temporary building while Antrepo 4 undergoes renovation.
Curated by Çelenk Bafra and Levent Çalıkoğlu, Harbour presents a selection of paintings, sculptures, models, engravings, drawings, photographs, videos, and installations that emphasise Istanbul’s relationship with the sea. The works of 34 artists and collectives from various periods and disciplines reveal the cultural and social life that developed on the coasts and around the ports of the city from the 19th century to the present. The exhibition looks at port areas not only as geographical locations but also as sites of social and economic interaction, and, as a result, delves into the symbolic and metaphorical aspects of the concept of ‘harbour’.
The title of the exhibition is a reference to a show held in 1941 by a group of academy artists who chose to produce art through participatory observation. The group, which would later come to be known as the Harbour Painters, focused on the ports’ workers, living conditions and social issues.
As expected, the work of the photographer Ara Güler, renowned for capturing the prosaic world of the everyday working man in Istanbul, will be on display. The celebrated Turkish painters Cemal Tollu and Feyhaman Duran, who is currently the subject of a retrospective at the Sabancı Museum, also have work in the show. Click here to see a full list of the participating artists and collectives.
A boat-lovers’ garden of delights
Contributions by Andrew Finkel, Harriet Rix, Tim Cornwell et al. Photographs by Monica Fritz, Brian McKee, Fritz von der Schulenburg
The Prague Symphony Chamber Orchestra with Cihat Askin, violin. Directed by Emre Araci and produced by Ateş Orga