The magnificent four

An unmissable performance of Pēteris Vasks and Fazıl Say by the Borusan Quartet – watch it while you can

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 5, 2021

On June 27, a concert by the Borusan Quartet that had been recorded on March 31 was put online. In the interests of speed, I will review this concert only briefly, as any delay in getting my piece to the readers of Cornucopia may result in disappointment: the recording may...

Now you hear it, now you don’t

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 28, 2021

A concert by players from the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded on April 8, was streamed online on June 13. Conducted by Cem Mansur, they played works with a retro flavour by Ligeti, Respighi and Stravinsky. I, in my naiveté, believed that it would be possible to access the concert...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

On the Shores of Gallipoli

‘From the mind of young Churchill a cunning new plan… ’ – two Scottish singers reflect on their home town’s darkest day

By Cornucopia | June 6, 2021

Much is written about the terrible Anzac losses at Gallipoli, where, as William Guerney wrote in Cornucopia 20, Australia and New Zealand ‘forged new national identies independent of the mother country'. For Turkey, the horror is beyond words…    But thousands of towns around the world were shattered by Churchill’s...

Our strange present and near future

Emre Hüner and his Cratered Glazes at Arter

By Thomas Roueché | June 6, 2021

The artist Emre Hüner began working on his show at Arter [ELEKTROİZOLASYON]: Exo-Settlement Recorded on Cratered Glazes in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, and when the museum itself was not yet completed. His practice began with small, exquisitely produced works on paper, but once confronted by the vast space Arter’s...

Family matters

Jazz pianists Cenk Esen and his father, Aydın Esen, join forces

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 27, 2021

On Friday July 5, 2019, as long-time readers of this blog may remember, I attended a concert at the UNIQ concert hall in which USA-based Turkish jazz pianist Aydın Esen performed with a singer whom he referred to as Randy K (she is in fact his wife), drummer Tommy Campbell,...

Portrait of a house in Sanaa

with comments by Marco A. Livadiotti

By Monica Fritz | May 25, 2021

Nestled in the back streets of Sanaa's Turkish quarter is Marco Livadiotti's stunning home, a homage to Yemen's beauty by an Italian aesthetic. Hard to believe almost 30 years have passed since I've been there. I was advised by friends to go straight to the rooftop on arrival. In those...

Man of the moment

How Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu amazingly catches the New York zeitgeist once again

By Andrew Finkel | May 21, 2021

‘423 Days After Shutdown, New York Takes Big Step Toward Full Reopening’, was the headline in The New York Times, but there was no need to read the article. I had already understood the relief of finally being able to mingle with family and friends in the millisecond it took...

An Easter church hunt

By Monica Fritz | May 1, 2021

To mark the Orthodox Easter, which falls this weekend – a full month after the Western churches celebrated the day, and a week after that spectacular pink full moon – I would like to share some images of two of Istanbul’s lesser-known Orthodox landmarks, two treasures well worth the hunt....

Gold dust

F Dilek Uyar wins the 2021 Pink Lady ‘Bring Home the Harvest’ Photographer of the Year Award

By Berrin Torolsan | May 1, 2021

This year the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Awards in the UK attracted no fewer than 10,500 photographers from 70 different countries the world over. The winner of the Bring Home the Harvest category was this stunning image, Drying Okra, by the Turkish photographer Fikret Dilek Uyar. A...

Stairways of Istanbul

By Monica Fritz | April 25, 2021

There is an infinity of magical stairways in this city; here are three of my favourites. Internal staircase to the church.  Exterior of the building in the back streets of Karakoy. These fine marble stairs that lead up to Aya Panteleimon, one of Karakoy's three Russian Orthodox rooftop churches are...

Good reverberations

Notes on ‘Secret Wildflower’ and Ayna Veer, the new album from Aydın Esen and friends

By John Shakespeare Dyson | April 22, 2021

It is too long since I heard USA-based Turkish jazz pianist Aydın Esen play live. I can still recall the chromatic crunchiness of his chords. At that concert in Istanbul in July 2019 (described in my blog), I watched and listened in awe as spherical baubles of meaningful melody crystallised...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Jazz

Fact or friction

For Thomas Roueché, ‘Scratch and Surface’, Deniz Gül’s new show at SALT Galata, bristles with possible meanings

By Thomas Roueché | April 18, 2021

The second edition of SALT Galata’s ongoing series of exhibitions, The Sequential, sees the institution play host to the conceptual artist Deniz Gül. In Scratch and Surface, Gül’s playful approach to her work speculates on the multifaceted nature of words and translation studies, and emerges from her wider interest in...

Happily bingeing on kitsch

The sheer joy of kitsch has turned the Pera Museum into a Wunderkammer

By Thomas Roueché | April 11, 2021

Kitsch has a troubled history. The term was initially coined as a response to the proliferation of art forms concurrent with the industrial revolution, and the awareness that mechanical reproduction had caused artworks to lose their aura. What was the meaning of an artwork when it was reproduced thousands of...
Posted in Critical Eye, Modern Art

Screen Test: Aestheticising the world of data

Refik Andadol’s immersive, evocative, emotional installations are drawing long queues, but what does that say about art?

By Thomas Roueché | April 4, 2021

Refik Anadol, whose new show, Machine Memoirs: Space, recently opened at Pilevneli Gallery in Dolapdere, is probably Turkey’s best known digital artist. A lecturer and visiting fellow at UCLA in Los Angeles, Anadol creates digital sculptures that are a monument to big data and artificial intelligence – the latter of...

Magnificent flying lots

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | April 4, 2021

Süleyman the Magnificent would, I am sure, be chuffed. The 'Lawgiver' (Lot 58) quadrupled his estimate at the Sotheby's Islamic sale last week, selling for £430,000. We would dearly love to know the lucky buyer was. Tips, please, to It is not a huge painting, but the look is...

The Good, the Bad and the Simply Irresistible

Helena Kane Finn reviews an epic soap, Black Money Love (Kara Para Aşk)

By Helena Kane Finn | March 27, 2021

Well before the pandemic imposed a night-time curfew on Turkish streets (writes Andrew Finkel), there were many who went voluntarily into lockdown certain evenings of the week to watch their favourite television series. The Turkish dizi is a cultural phenomenon – somewhere between a soap opera and an epic – but an...
Posted in Film

Trailblazers of the Twentieth Century

A concert of avant-garde music from the Borusan Philharmonic

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 24, 2021

On Sunday, March 21, a concert by players from the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, originally recorded in January, was streamed online. Under the baton of Cem’i Can Deliorman, conductor of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, they played works by Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Ligeti. For those who did not see my advance...

A taste of spring in Beyoğlu

Cornucopia's gallery walks are back

By Monica Fritz | March 23, 2021

Beyoglu's galleries are open and on a sunny Saturday I filed through the unexpected crowds to see what was up. The whole city seemed to be out.  High above Mumhane Caddesi, a colourful dome of one of Karaköy's three rooftop Russian churches is visible against the crystal clear sky. At street...

Announcing a streamed concert from Borusan

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 21, 2021

The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra is to give a streamed concert on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The programme is of 20th-century works by Schönberg, Stravinsky and Ligeti, and the guest conductor will be Cem’i Can Deliorman, conductor of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. I will, God willing, be reviewing the proceedings...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Portrait of two towers from my window

The Barracks of Selim III

By Monica Fritz | March 17, 2021

I recently moved away from the hordes of Moda to the absolute silence of Selimiye. A delightful improvement for my now older self, and the move slightly eased the travel itch. Selimiye, on the Üsküdar side of Haydarpaşa Station, away from bustling Kadıköy, seems to be one of the last...
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