Sunday, August 03, 2008

Istanbul modern

This has been my last day in Istanbul. I had not been to the grand bazaar, so I thought I would do that today. However my heart wasn't really in it. I don't want a carpet (true) or a new jacket (I don't wear the leather jacket I own). So instead I thought i would go to the Istanbul modern, a new art gallery close to the river. I started out OK, but got distracted by someone trying to sell me a carpet, so I ended up taking a different route to what I planned. I always knew that I just had to go right to hit the river. I did find a nice looking University. After somehow paying 10 euros for a street map I didn't need. I headed right towards the river. I thought this is so peaceful, away from the tourists. In fact as I walked around the back streets I suddenly thought this is a bit too peaceful. There was no one around. No nice Tourist policeman in his blue uniform. I was alone. I thought I am going to get my throat cut here. I started to hope for a welcoming sign of a carpet shop, where I would be safe, but poor. Anyway I found the river at last. I couldn't find the Istanbul modern. I saw no signs for it either. After looking at my map, I saw that I was actually on the wrong side of the river. In Istanbul one side of the river is in Asia and the other in Europe. This was the first time I got the continent wrong when I went looking for something. I walked over to the correct side of the river. Somehow in Istanbul they don't like to put the name of the bridge near it. Also Istanbul had one more bridge than my map! I wanted Galata bridge. I eventually decided i knew where I was, but I still could not find "Istanbul modern". After going from a tourist area, into what only be called "a derelict dockland area", fully of empt cafes and broken boats, I eventually saw a sign for the gallery. The building has been opened in 2005 so it was big and clean with lots of space. When I bought my ticket they put a red sticker on my chest with no explanation. The sticker fell off when I went to the toilet and i couldn't find it. This is the only way to view an art exhibition, when you are nervous that security will throw yo out for not having a red sticker. Everyone else had a red sticker. I didn't see any other stickers of a different colour. I found my self clutching at pieces of red on the floor in case it was red sticker. Anyway no one payed any notice to me. Perhaps I will bring the "red sticker idea" to Tate Modern in London. As you may imagine I didn't focus on the pictures so much. I did see some nice green and blues ones, but no really red pictures. The first floor contained pictures of twentieth century artists from Turkey. I found them all interesting without any of the anal theory stuff from the West. The basement had video installation type things, that don't do anything for me. (OK I did like the video of some eggs with some words on that kept moving. Janis Joplin sang in the background, but whether that was art, so something i could have done given three spare weeks).