“Dreamers” with Shirin Neshat

I do remember the first time I saw Shirin Neshat’s work at a gallery, a good ten years ago now.   I had just moved to Istanbul.  And I also remember being so emotionally moved.  I remember very vividly the power of those photographs. Veiled women, just their faces, sometimes only eyes, feet or hands showing, inscribed with Persian calligraphy and poetry.  The impact, the dominance, the political message was just so strong.  Her photographs so evocative. The visual language so powerful. And I remember watching on tv the commanding speech She gave at the Crystal Awards ceremony during the World … Continue reading “Dreamers” with Shirin Neshat

Antique Ankara

Ankara has a tender spot in my heart.   Having lived in Turkey’s capital in my elementary school days way back in the late 70s, I have been back every year for the last ten years to meet my childhood friend for a long weekend in August.  We reminisce about the good old times, laugh a lot, gossip a little, shop some and make sure to observe our ritual of spending at least half a day “re-exploring” the winding lanes of Ankara Citadel.   It is our ceremonial procession to commemorate “the” annual reunion.       We try to invade as many … Continue reading Antique Ankara

An evening remembering Qara Qarayev at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall

Whenever I am visiting a new city or country, attending a classical music concert or the opera is on my priority list.   Main reason is of course the therapeutic effect.  Music is my salvation and antidote to the fatigue of walking around, trying to absorb every single detail during my travels.  Those concerts are my secret gardens only I allow myself to enter.  I feel elevated.  And the music itself of course feels wonderfully soothing There is another reason. Attending a classic music concert or the opera opens the window to the cultural state of the city or the country.  I … Continue reading An evening remembering Qara Qarayev at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall

Fazıl Say’s Mesopotamia Symphony is beyond words

Music is no doubt a universal language and a very powerful at that. It has the potential to evoke a myriad emotions…comfort, solace, jubilance, bliss, joy, sorrow, misery, distress, anguish, grief, heartache and the feelings it stirs can go on and on…but above all it has the power to soothe and feed the soul. There are of course composers one feels closer to, perhaps because of the emotional impact they convey with their music, perhaps because their themes strike closer to heart, perhaps due to the historical context, perhaps due to choice of instruments, the familiarity of the melodies, perhaps … Continue reading Fazıl Say’s Mesopotamia Symphony is beyond words

That famed street renown for art galleries in Istanbul: Boğazkesen

This afternoon I changed my regular route and decided to stroll from the architecturally enriching, very colourful and except for Sunday mornings, the forever clamorous touristy Istiklal Street down to one of my favourite museums, Istanbul Modern via Boğazkesen Street. Boğazkesen definitely deserves a long account of her stories to be disclosed, all from the history of the current Tomtom Suites, to the presently abandoned home of French nuns of St Joseph’s Orphanage to the myriad art galleries for which Bogazkesen is now well known for. However today she will merely shine through snapshots. Literally translated as “throat slitter” the … Continue reading That famed street renown for art galleries in Istanbul: Boğazkesen

A Rendez-Vous with Nana Mouskouri

Even though I do not remember the first time I heard a song by Nana Mouskouri, or which one it was for that matter, her folksy tunes have been traveling with me throughout my life – from way back when I was in primary school in the 70s, to my boarding school days in the 80s, to college in the early 90s and presently in my car CD collection touring Istanbul. Her multi-languaged repertoire has hence surpassed just being a name on album covers to becoming sountracks reminiscent of my life episodes, bringing into my mind a remark by the … Continue reading A Rendez-Vous with Nana Mouskouri

Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art – a gem amongst the high rises in Istanbul’s financial hub

Perched on the European side of Istanbul, Maslak is the typical business district with soaring steel buildings, sparse pedestrian traffic during the day, plenty of congestion at rush hour and eyecatching neon lights at night. Hence it was a huge surprise for me to discover a museum embraced by all the towering steel and glass buildings where most of the daily activities revolve around business plans, long meetings, fancy power point presentations, financial figures and lots and lots of coffee breaks. Proje 4L Elgiz Museum of Contemporary art was the treasure trove of the week – thank you TEB private … Continue reading Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art – a gem amongst the high rises in Istanbul’s financial hub

Neighbours Exhibition – a kaleidescope of colours and experiences at Istanbul Modern

I beg to differ from Joan Miró who apparently once said: “Merde! I absolutely detest all openings and parties! They’re commercial, political and everybody talks too much. They get on my tits!” As I am not in the art business but am passionate about art, I tend to enjoy attending parties honouring museum or gallery exhibition openings in the hope of meeting the artists in person, to chat and exchange ideas, sometimes eavesdrop on conversations and become part of that very creative and colourful community. I was thrilled to receive an invitation to the January 8 opening gala of the … Continue reading Neighbours Exhibition – a kaleidescope of colours and experiences at Istanbul Modern

BIG SALUTE TO THE ARIK LEVY’S EXHIBITION IN ISTANBUL

I simply loved everything about the Arik Levy exhibition at Galerist in Istanbul. The way my friend Aylin surprised me with the invitation a few hours before the opening, the imperfectly painted gallery walls serving as a sophisticated backdrop to his magnitizing oeuvres, the curious fans at the opening, my companion to the exhibition and of course the emotions his brilliant artwork evoked in me. The exhibit was undoubtedly meticious. There was absolutely nothing below par except of course not meeting Mr Levy in person – that would have been the icing on the cake. A genious and a design … Continue reading BIG SALUTE TO THE ARIK LEVY’S EXHIBITION IN ISTANBUL