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Istanbul   Amina Handke 01.10.-31.12.2020 Next article >

Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 01 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 02 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 03 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 04 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 05 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 06 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 07 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 08 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 09 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 10 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 11 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 12 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 13 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 14 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 15 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 16 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 17 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 18 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 19 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 20 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 21 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 22 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 23 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 24 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 25 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 26 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 27 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 28 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 29 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 30 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 31 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 32 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 33 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 35 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 34 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 36 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 37 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 38 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 39 Amina Handke AWAY Istanbul 40

Why art is taking off on the shores of the Bosporus.

Art and culture have traditionally been in high esteem in the most populous city of Turkey. Nowadays things are changing as the formerly westernmost gateway to the east is setting a new political course. However, upheaval has always been an interesting motif for the arts. While some artists opt for alternative destinations out of caution, it is precisely for that reason that other artists go to Istanbul’s traditional artists’ quarter Cihangir Beyoglu where the Federal Chancellery operates its studio. How do artists currently experience life in this city that recently positioned itself as an important centre of the arts through Contemporary Istanbul and the opening of numerous galleries?

"Istanbul is not only huge, but also offers unexpected things, inspiration, excitement and challenges on an apparently unlimited scale – not only for visitors. It is as if you were in three or four cities at the same time and not just between or on two continents and as if you additionally moved between highly different moments of history and the present times. From one day to the next, a block of houses can disappear and a new one can emerge. The speed and scale of changes even confuses people who have already lived here for a longer period. An additional challenge for the senses (of orientation) is the multidimensional nature of the city that does not only move in all compass directions but also upwards and downwards (and through the sea). Because there is so much to see, hear, smell and taste – not merely in an artistic sense – as well as a lot to walk and drive, I wanted to use my time in Istanbul primarily for exploring the city and learning the language. Even everyday routines have to be learnt anew and, thus, also personal habits and views.

What I find interesting is that the pre-defined questions and introduction, in my mind, focus more on tourist pleasures than on a working stay that actually can offer an opportunity for calling into question and avoiding tourist perspectives."

www.amina.at

 

1. My stay in one word:
  Ezici
2. Things I miss since I am no longer there:
  The sound of the city: seagulls, cats, muezzins, street vendors, engines, horns of cars and ships. Then again, however, I do not miss the noise by night.
3. Dos & Don'ts at this place?:
  Dos: Casting aside expectations, opinions and prejudices. Being a polite guest. Don't: Judging
4. Where you can buy great supplies:
  Depends on what you need. There are hosts of smaller shops, craftspeople and retailers and frequently entire neighbourhoods specialise in a specific segment (boating and fishing equipment, textiles, confectionary, etc.). Labour is very inexpensive by European standards, so do not shy away from hiring somebody – for example also for learning/practicing the language!
5. What you should definitely bring with you from home:
  Sturdy, waterproof shoes with good treads. An adequate command of Turkish for all aspects of everyday life.
6. On art at my residency place:
  There is a wide range to choose from. In 2019, the new Arter building in Dolapdere opened that offers several exhibitions in parallel and, moreover, very significant impressions/views of the city’s contrasts, also with regard to the rich and poor or gentrification.
7. Around the studio – this is where I go shopping, drink a coffee and get the best lunch specials within walking distance:
  When you walk on Türkgücü Caddesi towards Taksim Square, you can find almost everything: a very inexpensive and good vegan snack bar, Cihangir Lokantasi offering ready-made meals, Elvan offering great pastries and, in addition, several small snack bars, a local supermarket and fruit and vegetable shops. I would avoid the French supermarket chain Carrefour, if possible. There are ways to spend the grant that make more sense.
8. Where I like to spend the evening (dinner, drinks and best sound):
  Enjoying a balik dürüm and / or cay from a street vendor while sitting by the sea on either side of the northern end of the Galata Bridge and watching the ferries and the sunset behind the mosques in the old town – incredible! Who knows how long this will still be possible… For relaxing and having a tea (or something else), the café of Istanbul Sosyal Tesisi (directly around the corner at the Sanatkarlar Park) is particularly impressive – few people, very inexpensive and one of the most beautiful views towards the Sea of Marmara. The tea terraces of the bookstores near the ferry piers are also nice and therefore well frequented. The Balkon Bar in the middle of the stressful nightlife district of Galata is also recommendable – very relaxed and a marvellous view from the roof-top terrace over the Golden Horn. Another oasis of peace is the Urban Café directly next to Istiklal Caddesi.
9. What I would have liked to know about the studio already at the start of my residency:
  How many unexpected things can happen at the same time (especially when the predecessor has devastated the apartment) and how exciting everyday life can be without a sufficient command of the Turkish language.

 

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