Contemporary Narratives from Turkey and Beyond

January 9 - June 8, 2014

Within the scope of its 10th year anniversary celebrations, Istanbul Modern presents Neighbours – Contemporary Narratives from Turkey and Beyond, an exhibition that investigates contemporary art practices in Turkey and the surrounding region. The exhibition brings together artists from neighboring geographies that have historical, political, and cultural ties with Turkey including the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Middle East, etc.

Neighbours explores practices that relate to social life in the public space, such as spectacles and ceremonies, and the way these have seeped into today's visual arts. The exhibition focuses on two aspects that are ingrained in the region’s cultural weave: narratives and travel. These dovetail into a number of works tangent to themes such as mobility, nomadism, odysseys, language, and translation, and cultural transmission, etc.

Neighbours features visual artworks, as well as performance and spectacles, including extensions of disciplines that have developed outside the academic circles of art, such as political cartoons and folk art. Paradigms of this wide region's layered narrative traditions are shadow theater, the aşıks (travelling bards), and the meddahs (public storytellers) of old, whose voice, in a new form, still echoes in the work of artists today.

Istanbul Modern hosts 35 artists from 17 countries and a program of special events– screenings, performances, workshops, talks and panel discussions –dedicated to the region’s art and culture. Come Again? video program is on view in a dedicated room in the exhibition hall as part of Neighbours.



Abdülcanbaz (Turhan Selçuk), Furat al Jamil, Mounira Al Solh, Maja Bajevic, Sonia Balassanian, Vesna Bukovec, CANAN, Eteri Chkadua, Ana Čigon,
Rena Effendi, Nezaket Ekici, Cevdet Erek, Adib Fattal (Installation by: The Museum of Everything), Mona Hatoum, Hamlet Hovsepyan, Gül Ilgaz, Babak Jalali, Lamia Joreige, Hayv Kahraman, Hatice Karadağ, Sevdalina Kochevska, Pavlos Nikolakopoulos, One Square Meter (A Festival by ACCEA), Fahrettin Örenli, Adrian Paci, Michail Pirgelis, Younès Rahmoun, Yehudit Sasportas, Wael Shawky, Slavs and Tatars, Aslı Sungu, Nasra Şimmes, Burcu Yağcıoğlu,
Nil Yalter, Živadinov::Zupančič::Turšič


Çelenk Bafra, Paolo Colombo

Assistant Curator and ‘Come Again?’ Program

Birnur Temel


Negar Azimi, Zdenka Badovinac, Magda Guruli


Main page:

Eteri Chkadua

In Black, 2013


"Behind the Scenes: Neighbours" video

Video: Rauf Köse & Mert Altınay

Music: Beyaz Hayvanlar



Sinan Koçaslan


Exhibition Sponsor

Supported by