The Istanbul Modern is another pleasant surprise in a city full of them. The artists on exhibit when I visited yesterday were mostly Turkish, some trained here and others in the US and I think one or two in Germany. Most of the work is representational but very creative in a modernist sort of way, as you can from the photos I’ve placed below.
The installations made sense- how unusual- and were interesting as well- also unusual. One was a young man playing make-shift drums, another various people lip synching Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’ Behind thick sets of hanging strands of fabric hangs a geographical globe with stars and planets on the walls, while in another section is a political globe. In a third room a face of a woman is projected onto a mannequin. She is singing.
Not so pleasant is the getting there. There are large signs and even an arrow pointing tot the enntrance. The large signs do not point anywhere except for the one with the arrow, which points down a lonely, shabby alley. I walked past it thinking this could not be. But it was.
The location challenge came after I ran across an angry confrontation a few hundred meters from the entrance. There was angry shouting and a man banging hard on the hood of a van. There was pushing and shoving. The police arrived. I heard four bangs, someone with a notepad came running toward me. I then turned around and scooted back a hundred meters, and crossed the street. A security guard told me it was not gun shots, just more banging on the van I suppose, so I went on. Traffic had piled up between me and the scene so I felt reasonably safe.
Here are some of the pieces I found interesting. The first is fabric sewed onto canvas, probably my favorite, which given I am not a fabric art fan in general, is a strong endorsement: