January 28 – June 4, 2017
Istanbul Modern’s new exhibition focuses on “harbor” as a theme of multiple dimensions as the museum occupies a former dry cargo warehouse transformed into a modern museum building right in the area known as the Port of Istanbul. Exploring how port areas are reflected in the visual arts, not only as geographical locations but also as sites of social and economic interaction, the exhibition also delves into the symbolic and metaphorical aspects of the concept of “harbor.” Emphasizing the relationship of the city of Istanbul with the sea and ports, “HARBOR” takes a close look at the cultural and social life that has developed on the seaside and around ports in the art of Turkey from the nineteenth century to the present.
Built on curatorial research in the fields of maritime culture in Turkey, social history, and the visual arts, the exhibition also includes a timeline. Summarizing the history of Istanbul through harbors, from archaeological work on the Harbor of Theodosius (Yenikapı) to the present, the timeline highlights major transformations and turning points in the city’s relationship with the sea and ports.
The “HARBOR” exhibition catalogue features texts, quotes, photographs, and visuals about the artists and works in the exhibition, as well as essays in which the curators present the conceptual framework of the exhibition. Published bilingually in Turkish and English, the catalogue includes the timeline as well as an article about the ports of Istanbul by Prof. Murat Güvenç, director of the Istanbul Studies Center at Kadir Has University, who advised the exhibition team in preparing the timeline.
Built at the Haliç Dockyards in Istanbul, the vessel Baştarda was designed as part of the project “Darzanà: Two Arsenals, One Vessel” for the Pavilion of Turkey at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. It was reconstructed within the scope of the exhibition and is on view in the museum courtyard.
Artists: Nevin Aladağ, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Hüseyin B. Alptekin, Avni Arbaş, Volkan Aslan, Turgut Atalay, Antonio Cosentino, Darzanà (Feride Çiçekoğlu, Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu, Ertuğ Uçar),
Hasan Deniz, Cevat Dereli, Abidin Dino, Burhan Doğançay, Feyhaman Duran, Mıgırdiç Givanian, Ara Güler, Nedim Günsür, Nuri İyem, Özer Kabaş, Borga Kantürk, Gülsün Karamustafa, Volkan Kızıltunç, Muhsin Kut, Mıgırdiç Melkon, Yasemin Özcan, Serkan Özkaya, Sébah & Joaillier, Arslan Sükan, Hüsnü Tengüz, Cemal Tollu, Selim Turan, Ömer Uluç, xurban_collective (Güven İncirlioğlu, Hakan Topal), Mümtaz Yener, Fausto Zonaro
Curators: Çelenk Bafra, Levent Çalıkoğlu
Assistant Curators: Aslı Can, Senem R. Kantarcı
Photos: Barış Aras & Elif Çakırlar
HARBOR exhibition book