press release

45 artists and architects, over 100 works presenting the transformations, conflicts, innovations and hopes of a city that has become the symbol of contemporary change.

Social transformations, political tension, conflicts and new community dynamics have made it the symbol of global change: this is Istanbul, to which from 11 December 2015 to 1 May 2016 MAXXI is dedicating ISTANBUL. PASSION, JOY, FURY, an exhibition curated by Hou Hanru, Ceren Erdem, Elena Motisi and Donatella Saroli.

This exhibition is the second stage in a project devoted to the cultural realities of the Mediterranean and the relationship between the Middle East and Europe initiated in 2014 with the exhibition of contemporary Iranian art and which is due to continue in 2017 with a project devoted to Beirut.

ISTANBUL. PASSION, JOY, FURY presents the work of 45 artists, architects and intellectuals through major works, new artistic projects and audio-visual testimony in multiplicity of idioms and expressions. Starting out with reflections on key issues spotlighted in the Gezi Park protests in 2013, the exhibition, thriving from examinations of the current mutations of the urban, cultural and social reality in Istanbul and their impacts on creative practices, tackles existential questions that apply to all of us: Are we ready for change? Is it right to fight? Is it really necessary to work so hard? Is it possible for people to live together in peace? And above all, can we still hope for a better tomorrow? Artists, architects and intellectuals have replied to all of these questions through their work, developing a solid critical commitment, of which the exhibition presents an overview, mapping the various experiences that have evolved in the city and thanks to the city: artistic, architectural, cinematic and critical projects.

The exhibition, resulted from a long-term research inspired by conversations with the local creative community of Istanbul, explores the urban changes of the city as the major condition for creative practices. It pays particular attention to the issues of gentrification, ecological crisis and informal and self-organization initiatives, etc, highlighting the political conflicts and the resistance with works that deal with issues associated with justice, violence and gender; it reviews the innovative models of production associated with consumerism and the challenges of the working class, underlines urgent geopolitical issues such as those of minorities and refugees and lastly proposes new solutions, joyous and proactive petitions and strategies for reconstruction because it is vital that we never lose hope.

FEATURED ARTISTS AND ARCHITECTS    Hamra Abbas, Can Altay & Jeremiah Day, Halil Altındere, Emrah Altınok, Architecture For All (Herkes İçin Mimarlık), Volkan Aslan, Fikret Atay, Atelier Istanbul: Arnavutköy, Vahap Avşar, İmre Azem & Gaye Günay, Osman Bozkurt, Angelika Brudniak & Cynthia Madansky, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Antonio Cosentino, Burak Delier, Cem Dinlenmiş, Cevdet Erek, İnci Eviner, Extrastruggle, Nilbar Güreş, Ha Za Vu Zu, Emre Hüner, Ali Kazma, Sinan Logie & Yoann Morvan, Networks of Dispossession, Nejla Osseiran, Ceren Oykut, Pınar Öğrenci, Ahmet Öğüt, Didem Özbek, Şener Özmen, PATTU, Didem Pekün, Zeyno Pekünlü, Mario Rizzi, Sarkis, SO?, Superpool, ŞANALarc, Ali Taptık, Serkan Taycan, Cengiz Tekin, Güneş Terkol, Nasan Tur.