South likes: Neighbours at Istanbul Modern, Istanbul


Slavs & Tatars, Nose Twister, 2014, installation shot, Neighbours, Istanbul Modern.

South likes: Neighbours at Istanbul Modern, Istanbul
Neighbours: Contemporary Narratives from Turkey and Beyond
Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey
9 January – 8 May, 2014

To renegotiate the centre of an area or a region means also to take a look around in order to check out the surroundings. And this is especially true for the area of the Mediterranean, where is not possible anymore to define such notions as centre and periphery. The exhibition Neighbours: Contemporary Narratives from Turkey and Beyond seems to prove exactly this: that centralisation is rather an illusion generated by a ravelled mesh of narratives extending in every direction. In the venue of Istanbul Modern this thoughts have been articulated into a big exhibition that investigates old and new narratives to define the diverse forms of coexistence of a region. Works like Nil Yalter’s Nomad’s Tent reflects on the role of women in Central Asian nomadic ways of life. From a different perspective, the humorous character of Slavs and Tatars’ work serves to emphasise the eastern origins of the Turkish language, with the usual taste for rigorous research and linguistic relics. Nasra Şimmes’ printed fabric sheets illustrates Biblical stories with traditional techniques that are juxtaposed to rather modern forms of narratives. Like Adrian Paci’s installation, which retraces the politically turbulent history of Albania, where in unauthorised kiosks, artists produced oil paintings, portraits from photographs, as well as forged documents or official papers. Characterised by an intellectual joy of encirclement, the exhibition revolves around the vernacular of contemporary art practices with a penchant for storytelling, traditional theatre, ancient customs and celebrations—especially whereas these cultural expressions have been shaped by compulsory or voluntary displacement of communities and individuals.

Michelangelo Corsaro

eteri chkadua

Eteri Chkadua, In Black, 2013, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist

nasra simmes

Nasra Şimmes, Saint Dimitri and 40 Saints, 2012, woodblock printing and paint on fabric. Private Collection


Adrian Paci, Piktori, 2002, mixed media. Courtesy of Collezione La Gaia – Busca, Italy

nil yalter

Nil Yalter, Nomad’s Tent, 1973, installation. Courtesy of Istanbul Bilgi University. Photo: courtesy of the artist and Mayotte Magnus Levinska

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