Pi Artworks London is pleased to present Letter from Istanbul, a multi-part exhibition curated by London-based curator Morgan Quaintance. This is the final exhibition of Pi Artworks London's Curatorial Season that runs from October 2016 to July 2017 and will bring together the work of Nancy Atakan, Didem Erbas, Neslihan Koyuncu, Fatih Pınar, Özlem Sarıyıldız and Andrea Luka Zimmerman. A daylong symposium of talks and screenings featuring these artists, writers and activists will follow on July 8th, in London. Details will be released nearer the date.
Inspired in part by British broadcaster Alistair Cooke's Letter from America, a series of radio essays on American history, current affairs and politics, Letter from Istanbul is a group exhibition as dispatch, a project that takes a look at art, culture, history and politics in the city of Istanbul. Rather than an essentialist survey of the metropolis and its artists, the exhibition presents a snapshot of projects, people and the histories and institutions structuring aspects of their socio-cultural present.
In order to create a space in which contemporary art and reportage coexist, the display will feature information regarding the social and political currents charging the city (photographs, video, media materials, etc.) alongside artworks. Another major influence on the development of this approach has been Turkish author Ece Temelkuran's Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy (2015), a book that offers an impressionistic exploration of the country through a deeply personal and essayistic inventory of objects, national events and personal encounters.
In addition to the exhibition, curator Morgan Quaintance has produced a documentary featuring interviews with cultural producers in the city, shot over two weeks during the recent referendum. This film will be available online during the exhibition and accompanied by two radio programmes of interviews with sociologists and theorists discussing queer sexualities, women's voice talk shows, current party politics, crime and the neoliberal city in Turkey. The latter will be broadcasted on June 7th and July 5th on Resonance 104.4FM.