‘In Praise of Shadows’ at Istanbul Modern
“In Praise of Shadows,” an exhibition chronicling the history of shadow theater in Turkey and Greece and exploring how contemporary art has made use of this tradition, went on display yesterday at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.
Curated by Paolo Colombo, art advisor to İstanbul Modern, the exhibiton includes works by eight contemporary artists from seven countries and a number of significant contributions from two master filmmakers from the first half of the 20th century, the museum said in a written statement yesterday.
The sprawling collection features works by Turkish contemporary artist Haluk Akakçe, Swedish video artist Nathalie Djurberg, Swedish painter Jockum Nordström and American artist Kara Walker, in addition to animated films by South African filmmaker William Kentridge and Finnish filmmaker Katariina Lillqvist. Also featured are works by Greece’s Christiana Soulou, Poland’s Ladislas Starewich and Britain’s Andrew Vickery. More than 100 pieces are being offered in the exhibition, exploring the formal analogies and conceptual references that a new narrative spirit in contemporary art has established with shadow plays and the influence this traditional art form has had on the world of contemporary art.
The exhibition will “appeal to everyone interested in the history of cinema, animation and shadow theater,” said İstanbul Modern chairwoman of the board Oya Eczacıbaşı during a press conference on Wednesday. “This exhibition and its side events [such as shadow theater performances] will help once again bring Karagöz, our important cultural legacy, back into the limelight,” she added.
After completing its run at the İstanbul Modern on May 6, “In Praise of Shadows” will travel to the Benaki Museum in Athens from May 22 to July 26.