The museum that changed art in Turkey

BBC’s program “Heart of Turkey” focuses on Istanbul Modern

The UK’s leading broadcasting company BBC has focused on Istanbul Modern in its cultural series “Heart of Turkey”. Prepared by Nikki Bedi, the story emphasizes how Istanbul Modern has played a pioneering role in making Turkey an increasingly permanent player on the international art map, where it was once not so prominent.

In the story broadcast on October 13 on BBC Television and website, Nikki Bedi speaks with Istanbul Modern curator Çelenk Bafra on how Turkey's first and biggest museum of modern and contemporary art has become a top international art destination in only 10 years. Mentioning Istanbul Modern’s role in transforming the art of Turkey and changing how contemporary art is perceived, Bafra also draws attention to the international scope of the exhibitions held at Istanbul Modern.

Bedi underlines the conviction and sense of adventure of Istanbul Modern as a museum that has put Turkey on the international art map, and adds that Istanbul Modern is not afraid to feature works that are at times difficult and even provocative.

The program mentions that beforea former customs warehouse opened in 2004 as the Istanbul Modern, Turkey was not known for contemporary art. Emphasis is placed on how “The new museum changed everything: it is now home to the Istanbul Biennial and the heart of a bustling art district in the Karaköy area”.

The story states that although Istanbul Modern frequently focuses on Turkish art, in its collection and exhibitions it also features works by prominent artists from across the world and includes global exhibitions in its program. Mentioning the importance that the museum gives to video art and new media, the program also shows images from the museum’s 10th anniversary exhibition “Plurivocality: Visual Arts and Music in Turkey”, as well asworks by leading artists in Istanbul Modern’s Collection, such as Richard Wentworth, Julian Opie, Richard Deacon, Tony Cragg, and İnci Eviner.