January 30, 2018 | News



Ai Weiwei On Porcelain

With the support of Akbank, Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum will host Ai Weiwei’s first exhibition in Turkey, between the dates 12 September 2017 and 28 January 2018. The exhibition will showcase an extensive selection from the artist’s oeuvre alongside new works. Focusing on Ai Weiwei’s wide-ranging production in the medium of porcelain, the exhibition will present a narrative informed by the artist’s life story and his approach to both the tradition of craftsmanship and art history

September 12,2017 – January 28 2018.

Sabancı Üniversitesi Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi Sakıp Sabancı Cad. No:42 Emirgan 34467 İstanbul

Look At Me!

Portraits and Other Fictions in the ”la Caixa” Contemporary Art Collection

The exhibition Look at Me! Portraits and Other Fictions in the ”la Caixa” Contemporary Art Collection examines portraiture, one of the oldest artistic genres, through a significant number of works of our times. Paintings, photographs, sculptures and videos shape a labyrinth of gazes that invite spectators to reflect themselves in the social mirror of portraits.

Fidelity and likeness to the portrayed subject have been an essential condition of portraits, although art has taught us that to portray is not to reproduce but to create an image and, in short, construct a fiction. Most of the works assembled here examine concepts of truth, appearance and representation, besides memory and fiction. Some put the normative canons of portraiture to the test, revealing its ruses and the conventions of society. Painting exposes masks and make-up, whereas photography experiments with the potential of fiction to produce disconcerting effects of reality. Some artists are interested in the anonymity of portraits, while others dissect social roles and address the problems of representing identity. Some works define a figure or a face, while others depict some of the distinctive symbols of our society. Most of the works confirm that in actual fact we all see ourselves as images.

December 7,2017 – March 4, 2018

Pera Museum ,Meşrutiyet Caddesi No.65 34430 Tepebaşı – Beyoğlu – İstanbul

Louis Kahn Re/Framed

with Photographs by Cemal Emden

The exhibition Louis Kahn Re-framed with Photographs by Cemal Emden focuses on the architectural and artistic works of Louis I. Kahn – architect, thinker, artist, and an “architectural guru” who is considered among the leading figures of 20th century architecture. Curated by Müge Cengizkan, the exhibition brings together drawings and photographs of architectural works from Pennsylvania, where Kahn lived, worked, and lectured – to Dacca and Ahmedabad, as well as his paintings and unique interviews. The exhibition’s focus is based on photographs that reframe Kahn’s buildings through themes such as “constructing the ground” and “kneading the program.” It also offers new insights into Kahn’s ideas through his visionary writings, which have been translated into Turkish for the first time. The exhibition features video interviews with Middle Eastern Technical University graduate architects and instructors who had been Khan’s students in the States. For this first Louis I. Kahn exhibition in Turkey, the selection includes charcoal and Khan’s color drawings and paintings as well as his own writings and books in an attempt to frame his intricate personality.

December 7, 2017 – March 7, 2018

Pera Museum ,Meşrutiyet Caddesi No.65 34430 Tepebaşı – Beyoğlu – İstanbul

In Fact

The Elgiz Museum presents an exhibition of 17 works in various media, includng photography, sculpture and video. There are pieces by notable artists, including Cindy Sherman, Erwin Wurm, Volkan Kızıltunç and TUNCA. The show focuses on the concept of representation in the current post-truth era.

December 5, 2017 – April 30, 2018

Elgiz Museum, Beybi Giz Plaza, Maslak 34398, İstanbul

Imaginary World of A Paper Architect

Nazimî Yaver Yenal

The Istanbul Research Institute presents an expansive exhibition of the paper works of 20th-century architect Nazimî Yaver Yenal. Born at the end of the Ottoman Empire, Yenal came into his own as an architect during the birth of the Republic. This exhibition draws from the archives of his work, which spans 50 years and represents 20th century architecture in Turkey. His avant-garde sketches and celebrated designs are curated by Büke Uras.

October 4, 2017 – March 3, 2018

Entry is free of charge.

Istanbul Research Institute, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No: 47, Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu, Istanbul

Bring Him Back to Me, Voodoo

Naz Köktentürk

The photographer Naz Köktentürk usually investigate myths and rituals in Islamic cultures in the Middle East and Central Asia, but this work takes her farther afield to Burkina Faso. Here, she explores Voodoo rituals and West African animism. This work is part of the artist’s long term research on myths and rituals.

Köktentürk is an Istanbul-based photographer whose work has taken her to Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and beyond. Her photo projects focus on minorities, social issues, and war victims.

February 7, 2018 – March 10, 2018

Blok Art Space, Faik Paşa Caddesi No. 22 D. 2, Beyoğlu, Istanbul

Sisters of Persephone

Anni Leppälä and Nazif Topçuoğlu

Taking its name from a Sylvia Plath poem, the new exhibition Sisters of Persephone at Bomontiada’s Leica Gallery examines the image of women through the work of two artists.

Anni Leppälä creates site-specific photographic installations that exist in the ephemeral space between dreams and reality. Using an abandoned old house that belongs to her relatives as a visual jumping-off point, she freezes time to explore the overlap of the present and the past.

Nazif Topçuoğlu explores issues in Turkish society through work that draws from biblical stories and visually quotes art history. His work represents the real-life experiences of educated Turkish girls assuming masculine roles and delves into the ways knowledge, sexuality and art affect adolescent girls.

December 16, 2017 – March 3, 2018

Leica Gallery, Bomontiada, Tarihi Bomonti Bira Fabrikası, Birahane Sok No:1/C, Bomonti, Sisli, 34380 Istanbul

Deletion Marks

Tareq Daoud and Elisabeth Denys

This exhibition grapples with uprooted societies and relocation, specifically focused on the Abkhazian communities in Turkey. Artists Tareq Daoud and Elisabeth Denys visited villages in the Düzce and Sakarya provinces of Turkey to explore the history of the Abkhazian inhabitants. Their research delved into the causes of and inherent pain involved in their relocation to Turkey.

They also completed a residency at the SKLAD Cultural Institute in the capital city of Abkhazia, Sukhum, where they spoke with Abkhazians who lived in Turkey but had repatriated to their homeland.

This research is condensed into four pieces that approach memory and the construction of identity. Through their work, they explore the complex relations woven through time between Turkey and Abkhazia

February 1, 2018 – February 25, 2018

DEPO, Tütün Deposu, Lüleci Hendek Caddesi No.12, Tophane, Istanbul

Virtual Archive

Salt Galata

Virtual Archive (2017) is an installation of a 3D, computer-generated environment that is open to interactive explorations by single-users. Via a virtual reality headset, the user flies through a 3D data point cloud formed by a t-SNE machine learning algorithm, visualizing more than 1,700,000 documents present in SALT Research archive collections. Refik Anadol’s installation is displayed as an extension to the artist’s Archive Dreaming, also commissioned by SALT in 2017.

Devised during Anadol’s residency at Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence, Virtual Archive is a proposal for research possibilities in the immediate future. The user first reaches a data tunnel, which slowly transforms into a navigable 3D t-SNE data cloud. When the cloud settles into a 2D library of archival documents, the user can later move from one object to another and select content for close-up studies as if they were available in a physical environment. Following its initial presentation as part of The Uses of Art: Final Exhibition at SALT Galata, Archive Dreaming was exhibited at the Ars Electronica Festival 2017 under the theme “Artificial Intelligence” last September. Employing machine learning algorithms to search and sort relations among objects in SALT Research archive collections, this user-driven installation enabled new perspectives on the content, and challenged static concepts of the archive; when idle it “dreamed” of unexpected correlations among documents.

December 22, 2017 – February 25, 2018

Salt Galata, Bankalar caddesi No 11 Karaköy Istanbul


Gazi Sansoy

The work of Gazi Sansoy draws inspiration from his family’s tradition of satire. While his grandfathers satirized late Ottoman Empire society, Sansoy takes aim at more modern targets with his thought-provoking, witty paintings. This solo exhibition draws from works created between 2008 and 2018, organised under five subtitles. Nude​ ​and​ ​Covered​ ​Up​ ​Tales​ ​/​ ​Arabex consists of mixed-media work, combining photographs with paintings. Who​ ​are​ ​we? Draws inspiration from Ottoman miniatures. Faceless puts a new spin on post-Renaissance West European painting. The last two subseries, Divine Milk and Yesterday,​ ​Today,​ ​Tomorrow,​ ​Istanbul,​ ​Dervishes, reference Sansoy’s family history.

January 11, 2018 – February 16, 2018

Anna Laudel Contemporary, Bankalar Caddesi No. 10, Karaköy, Beyoğlu

Leaden Waters: How To Be Brave

Olga Alexopoulou

Through moody and evocative black ink drawings, a mural, and installation work, artist Olga Alexopoulou contemplates the question: What does it mean to be brave? Her work scratches below the illusory surface to discover the reveries and revelations beneath.

Alexopoulou was born in Athens, Greece and in 2017 she was listed as one of the 50 best women street artists in the world.

January 20, 2018 – February 17, 2018Galata Greek Primary School / Galata Rum İlkokulu,


Artist and researcher C. M. Kösemen displays their new work in a solo exhibition. Featuring drawings made over the last three years, the images of ‘organic houses’, architectural fantasies, and zoological visions speak to a search for belonging. As the artist says, ‘Whatever happens, our memories and a honed sense of curiosity will offer us a site of intangible refuge that no force can deny.’

January 18, 2018 – February 17, 2018

Space Debris Art, Kemankeş Mah., Hoca Tahsin Sokak No 15/1, Karaköy, Beyoğlu, Istanbul

Are you awake?

Işıl Arısoy Kaya

The first solo exhibition from Işıl Arısoy Kaya delves into dreamlike imagery that seemingly emerges from the artist’s subconscious. Her surreal images often use her own image as the subject, with superimposed photographic scenes illustrating the abstract places of her imagination. Her artistic exploration poses the ultimate question: Who am I, really?

January 20, 2018 – February 24, 2018

Mixer, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Mumhane Caddesi No. 50, Beyoğlu, Istanbul

The Animal Side

What would civilization be without humans? This group exhibition, named after a book by Nazlı Karabıyıkoğlu, investigates the possibilities of a non-anthropocentric world of nature and animals, devoid of humanity. The work on display touches on themes of nature, existence, ego, culture, civilization, desire, body, fear, information, intuition and magic. Participating artists include Sadık Arı, Fulya Çetin, Sinem Dişli, Ece Eldek, Didem Erbaş, İris Ergül, Çınar Eslek, Eda Gecikmez, Hatice Işık, Ata Kam, Huri Kiriş, İhsan Oturmak, Gümüş Özdeş, Mert Öztekin, Deniz Pasha, Ekin Saçlıoğlu, Ahmet Sarı, İlhan Sayın, Yusuf Sevinçli and İrem Sözen

January 20, 2018 – February 24, 2018

Mixer, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Mumhane Caddesi No. 50, Beyoğlu, Istanbul


To celebrate their 20th year in the same space, Galeri Apel is hosting an exhibition comprised of previously displayed work. With a rotating roster of participating artists and a re-imagined layout, Nostospektif draws from old and new work to create an ever-changing portrait of nostalgia. The show flows with memory-logic, and encourages looking back even as it looks forward.

Some of the featured artists include Yasemin Aslan Bakiri, Aydan Baktır, Şeyma Reisoğlu Bobaroğlu, Güler Güngör, Yücel Kale, Ayfer Kalsın, Gülsün Karamustafa Kurucu Koçanoğlu, Julie Mardin, Canan Pak, Maria Sezer, Erhan Şermet and Bahadır Yıldız.

November 7, 2017 – April 7, 2018

Galeri Apel, Kuloğlu Mh., Hayriye Cd. No. 5, Beyoğlu 34433

Istanbul Recitals: Xuefei Yang

The Istanbul Recitals series returns in February with a performance by Chinese classical guitarist Xuefei Yang. Her diverse programme will include pieces by Legnani, Bach, Xu, Paco De Lucia, Debussy and Astor Piazzolla.

She’s played the guitar since the age of 7, and over time has achieved an excellent international reputation. She was the first guitarist from China to study in the United Kingdom at the Royal Academy of Music.

February 13, 2018


Tickets can be purchased from Biletix.

The Seed (Sakıp Sabancı Museum), Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Emirgan, Istanbul

Nardis Jazz Club February 2018

February sees the return of old favourites to the Nardis stage, and some wordly multicultural jazz performances. The days are short, but the nights are long and perfect for jazz.

February 1, 2018 – February 28, 2018

Various times

Call +90 212 244 63 27 daily (except Sunday) after 15.30 or e-mail to make a reservation. Reservations are strongly recommended for weekend performances.

Nardis Jazz Club, Kuledibi Sokaka No. 14, Galata, İstanbul

FARIT Tour of the Golden Horn and the Iron Church

This half-day tour, led by art historian and guide Claire Karaz, weaves through the neighbourhoods of Cibali, Fener, and Balat. With her guidance, participants can explore the rich and diverse cultural history of the Golden Horn and visit the recently restored Sveti Stefan Bulgarian Church, also known as the Iron Church. The tour will also go to Gül Camii, Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hamamı, Yavuz Selim Camii, the Greek Patriarchate, the Phanar Greek School, Mary of the Mongols, the Ahrida Synagogue, and the Blachernae Church.

February 4, 2018


Cost is 95 TL per person (110 TL for non-members). This price covers entrances and tips, tea, and an honorarium for the guide. The trip is limited to 25 people. Call (+90 212 257 8111) or e-mail ( to make a reservation.

Scent And The City

A hint of coal and cologne or saffron and linden lingering in the air can transport you, even to ancient Anatolia. The new exhibition from Koç University’s Vehbi Koç Ankara Studies Research Center (VEKAM), curated by Dr. Lauren Nicole Davis, invited visitors to discover past civilizations with their noses. More than 50 scents, such as frankincense and agarwood, create an olfactory picture of past worlds. The exhibition draws from literature, rituals, traditions, and the economy to build an impression of Anatolia as it once was.

This project was previously exhibited between April 14– June 8, 2016 at Koç University’s ANAMED Gallery.

January 6, 2018 – March 31, 2018

Erimtan Archaeology and Art Museum, Kale Mah. Gözcü Sok. No.10, Ankara, Turkey


Fahrelnissa Zeid

Retrospective in cooperation with Tate Modern, London

The retrospective ”Fahrelnissa Zeid” introduces one of Turkey’s most important pioneering modernists to an international audience. Although Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901-1991) travelled extensively, exhibited internationally and influenced a younger generation of artists in Europe and the Middle East during her lifetime, this will be the first major retrospective dedicated to her work. ”Fahrelnissa Zeid” is a celebration and a revelation of an artist who lived a fascinating life and made some of the most important works of her time. Fahrelnissa Zeid traces the artist’s career from the first works she made in Turkey, through Zeid’s engagement with the d-Group, her later experiments with abstraction and, finally, her return to figuration. Her large-scale abstract works from the late 1940s-1960s form the heart of the exhibition. The show focuses on how Zeid’s practice both related to and diverged from international art movements. It also re-evaluates her work in relation to her nomadic subjectivity to create a clearer understanding of her aesthetic preoccupations, the individuality of her abstract vocabulary and the specificities upon which this depended.

October 20, 2017 – March 25, 2018

KunstHalle by Deutsche Bank, Unter den Linden 13 / 15 10117 Berlin

The Travels and Plant Collections of Aucher-Éloy, Oman, 1838

Dr. Shahina Ghazanfar, Honorary Research Associate, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew will talk about Pierre Martin Remi Aucher-Éloy was the first person to make a comprehensive collection of plants from northern Oman (then called the Immamat of Muscat). He collected mainly in the northern mountains during March and April 1838. These, and his other collections from the Orient, provided a major source of material for the eminent Swiss botanist, naturalist and explorer, Pierre Edmund Boissier. Several plants which Aucher collected in Oman were new to science. Boissier’s voluminous work, Flora Orientalis, remains to this day a standard reference on floras of Southwest Asia. Aucher’s plant collections from Oman are present in herbaria at the Laboratoire de Phanerogamie, Museum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, Genevè and some at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. His personal field book is preserved in Paris, and his note-book Relations de Voyages en Orient de 1830 à 1838 was published posthumously in 1843.

February 15, 2018

Thursday at 5.45pm

The lecture is free, but please email to reserve a place.

London Middle East Institute at SOAS, SOAS, University of London, MBI Al Jaber Building, 21 Russell Square, London