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Guests: Artists and Craftspeople

February 28, 2020 – October 18, 2020

Istanbul Modern Temporary Space, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No. 99, Beyoğlu, Istanbul


Istanbul Modern launched its International Artist Residency Programme in October 2018, together with the Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA). In a cleverly staged show, traditional Istanbul craftsmen have helped ten guest artists from around the world to create strikingly improbable artworks inspired by past traditions. These are exhibited alongside examples of the traditional crafts that inspired them from two often overlooked public collections: the Istanbul Military Museum (for the most part surprisingly unmartial) and the extraordinary out-of-sight collection of the Directorate of Libraries and Museums of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

The Istanbul Municipality’s collection is worthy of an exhibition in its own right. Formed between the 1930s and 1950s by an enlightened generation aware that vast amounts of the city’s heritage would soon be destroyed by developers, it was exhibited in a beautifully curated museum in Yıldız Palace until a few years ago. The museum is now inexcusably out of bounds.

In the Istanbul Modern catalogue (in Turkish and English), Aslı Kıyak İngin – architect, designer, and activist – gives an overview of Istanbul’s crafts and the neighborhoods that nurtured them, at the same time as providing the contextual basis of the exhibition.

The ten artists, many of them household names, are Faig Ahmed, Rana Begum, Benji Boyadgian, Rodrigo Hernández, Servet Koçyiğit, [Outi Pieski](outi pieski näyttely), Randi & Katrine, Wael Shawky and Jorinde Voigt.

Rodrigo Hernández - Poke through the Blackness, 2020

Faig Ahmed, Archive, 2020


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