The Event of a Thread: Global Narratives in Textiles

Istanbul Modern opens the first exhibition of the year; “The Event of a Thread: Global Narratives in Textiles”. The exhibition brings together 25 international contemporary artists who use textile as a tool of artistic expression through their works.

Organised in collaboration with Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), with the support of the Goethe-Institut, the exhibition features works by international artists who use textile to create aesthetic and cultural narratives through painting, photography, archive materials, objects, installations and video works. Curated by Susanne Weiß and Inka Gressel on the invitation of ifa, and co-curated by Istanbul Modern’s Oyku Ozsoy, the exhibition focuses on the historical, social and cultural meanings of fabrics, and explores the various uses of textile as a tool of expression.

The artists Belkıs Balpınar, Ulla von Brandenburg, Hussein Chalayan, Burhan Doğançay, Noa Eshkol, Andreas Exner, Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu, Uli Fischer, Sakir Gokcebag, Zille Homma Hamid, Heide Hinrichs, Olaf Holzapfel, Gozde İlkin, Christa Jeitner, Elisa van Joolen  Vincent Vulsma, Gulsun Karamustafa, Servet Kocyigit, Eva Meyer & Eran Schaerf, Karen Michelsen Castanon, Irfan Onurmen, Judith Raum, Sabire Susuz and Franz Erhard Walthe’s works will be on display until the 7th July.

Chair of the Board of Istanbul Modern Oya Eczacıbası saidWe are so pleased to open a new exhibition organized jointly with Germany’s long-standing art establishment, the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa). Since opening our doors in 2004, Istanbul Modern has created opportunities for visitors to experience the evolution and transformation of contemporary art. To this end, we have carried out a wide variety of collaborative projects with leading international art institutions.”

ifa curators Inka Gressel – Susanne Weiß said: “A fabric can tell us a lot about when and where particular materials became important, the migration of technologies, and the development of techniques. We are fascinated by the spatial and temporal back-and-forth found in the art works; the movement within and between them.​”

“The Event of a Thread” brings together a variety of stories ranging from the tradition of quipu used by ancient Andean cultures in South America, to the textile techniques of the indigenous people of Wichí in Argentina, and from Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu’s revival and adoption of the long-forgotten tradition of yazma to Burhan Dogancay’s tapestries created at the Aubusson workshops. One of the special areas in the exhibition has been dedicated to Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu, the first artist to develop a synthesis between painting and embroidery, textiles, and yazma traditions in Turkey. “The Event of a Thread” presents a selection of the multi-faceted artist’s yazma, in addition to a selection of his never-before-seen fabric-printing blocks.

As a part of Istanbul Modern Education and Social Projects’ education program, children and teenagers will also be able to join the workshop throughout the exhibition.

Image: Istanbul Modern – Melek – Angel, Gulsun Karamustafa, 1986

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