Istanbul 5. Istanbul Modern.

That sounds like a trick they might play in the Time Travellers show.

Istanbul – City of History. Istanbul Modern.

Actually it is the name of a Gallery housed in a massive container-like warehouse, showing off recent, sometimes controversial, works of Art.

Whatever Art means!

Last Christmas I was fortunate enough to be in Doha during a Damian Hirst retrospective – loved it.

Forget the cows, the sharks, the skulls; feel his grasp of life and death.

Why would a pharmaceutical company make medicines to cure me? After all, the longer I remain ill, the longer I am a consumer of pills wonderful. And as I consume they make money.

Make me sick Glaxo!

Will that injection in my arse really rid me of the pox your honour?

Take these tablets three times a day for the rest of your life, and never rest your tackle in a dirty box again.

Ah the joys of life!

So in the spotty cuboid housing the works of Master Hirst, I dwelt on ‘Lullaby, the seasons’.

Not that Nigel Kennedy nonsense by Vivaldi.

Four large glass cases, square containers derived from sand; ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The height and width far out sized their depth. Each was filled with glass shelves of pills, handmade, coloured to represent the seasons.

Green pills for Spring, yellow for Summer, browns for Autumn; then white pills for the Winter of our days, the lack of sunshine in our lives easing us into the shallow ground, memories soon forgotten.

Ah the joys of life!

Istanbul Modern – I loved the false ceiling made from suspended books, the bullet holed glass staircase surround, the enormous wooden pieces that appeared to have sprouted from the insanity of Vic Reeves.

Istanbul Modern, modern art museum, Istanbul, Marmarameer, Türkei

The view of Industrialisation by Yuksel Arslan hit home for me…


19 Suitcases took me round the world, to friends old and new.

“And thus spoke the place:
Bring me the thrills of the first time you saw me
Each of which became a path for you in a different work.
Bring your self to me.

The remains of each single piece, mixed up in the earth.
Bring me a piece of my old guests,
The piece you used to love dearly,
Bearing the faces of 19 people lined up side by side, looking at us.

Sculpted in wood by Kurimba villagers,
The story of each suspended in faraway places, like empty suitcases.
Bring me 19 suitcases,
Each concealing the memory of a different person.

Bring me all the moments you were lost in.
The moments you will look at through lenses to see the traces of
Bring me back my old chairs,
Each will reunite me with a different memory.

Bring me the poem of Rumi.
That begins with the lines, How good to migrate anew everyday.
And how beautiful to settle anew everyday.
And ends saying, “So many words that belong to yesterday.
Now we need to say new things.”

Bring me people,
May each be the storyteller of their home towns.
Bring me your dreams,
Those dreams that turned me into you, head to foot, as I lived.
Bring me my own memory
That memory I yearn to meet.
Bring me everything,
Each thing the everything of something else.”

Handan Bőrűteçene, Paris, 2008.


Published by Phoenix

I have been a teacher all my life. That doesn't just mean in School! I taught my brothers to ride bikes and go camping in the mountains. I taught Football, Cricket, Squash, Sailing, Climbing and Karate. In BNI I became the Education Coordinator. With my Property Business I laid on Investment Seminars. I taught my sons to Fish for Carp. And I still teach Maths and Physics to students who want to go to University to study Medicine or Engineering. Now I am teaching people the things I am learning online.

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