Pazartesi, 5 Aralık 2022
Pazartesi, Aralık 5, 2022
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🎭 The most crowded and glorious days, you know

Fasten your seat belts because art has come to town. "Which one should I go first?" A month is waiting for us when we will be undecided in the face of this question.
Together with İBB Kültür AŞ

Taksim Sanat to exhibit in Contemporary Istanbul One of Turkey’s leading art fairs, the 17th edition of Contemporary Istanbul is calling all art enthusiasts to Tersane Istanbul to view thousands of artworks from hundreds of significant art organisations all over the world, including Kültür AŞ by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality . Artworks of artists who have exhibited in Taksim Sanat throughout the year such as Cemil Özçelik , Ecem Dilan Köse , Muhittin Can Koyuncu , Nergiz Yeşil , Saltık Doğa Özsar , Serkan Tok and Şevval Konyalı will meet their viewers in Contemporary Istanbul until 22 September . To follow Taksim Sanat on Instagram, you may visit this link.

Learn more

Photo: Deniz Sabuncu

It’s a little chilly, but Istanbulites still sit on the terrace of the vapur. They still hang out outside the gallery in Tophane on a weekday. There is probably another exhibition opening. Some are drinking wine and chatting. Their calendars are filled with concerts, openings, parties, and getaways to the Aegean coast. Some have plans for the vintage season. For sure.

We only have five stops to go, then we are in Çemberlitaş to observe the place tourists are happy to discover Istanbul from 328 AD to the 2020s. For them, going to the hamam is an event in itself here. Some visit Barın Han, one of the biennial venues of this year. Then they move on to Zeytinburnu to visit another venue of the biennial, Zeytinburnu Medicinal Plant Garden. They question exactly how big Istanbul is. 

Yes, it is big. And it is a typical September. The most crowded and glorious days of the city. How lucky.

This week, we have met the curatorial team of the 17th Istanbul Biennial in Zeytinburnu Medicinal Plant Garden. Thanks to them, we rediscovered this city, rethinking it. And you will too.

Now, we will examine the practice of performance in relation to society, economy, streets and politics through the exhibition called The 90s Onstage. Later, we probably will need to relax a bit. We will dance to Agar Agar and celebrate the opening of Salon İKSV. 

Come and join us,



In the 10th issue: 

Hopping (What’s going on in Istanbul: Hand-picked and unmissable events): Meet us at Agar agar as part of the Gezgin Salon, Cheerz festival to approve the festival season isn't over and more. 

Water Cooler Talk (Local news that you need to know to survive or just to speak of): Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality introduced the Istanbul City Card, a new project for tourists also a women's labor markets at Caddebostan and Yeşilköy. 

Istanbulite (A talk with a creative inhabitant): We met 17th Istanbul Biennial curatorial team at Zeytinburnu Medicinal Plants Garden, one of the biennial venues. 

What's cooking (Selected places to eat, drink, cafés, food markets): Asmalı is calling us. Bordel, the new amusing street food restaurant of Istanbul has just opened.


Agar agar 

Source: Naïa Combary

Season opening: +1 Sunar | Agar Agar

What is it? Concert. The inhabitants of the electro-pop realm of France are back in our city with their new album and the accompanying computer game 'Play Test'. We honestly don't know who else could have opened the doors to the Salon with more enthusiasm.

Where? Salon İKSV

When? 23-24 September

Why should you go? As part of the Gezgin Salon, we had met them by the Bosphorus on a June evening. We still can't forget our feet turning to jello from dancing and how much fun we had... If you weren't with us that day, join us this time and let's party at Salon.

Duly noted: The entry to Salon is this way.

Dance, theatre, and performance together: Istanbul Fringe Festival

What is it? Performing art festival. The festival, which will be held for the fourth time this year, will bring together artists from many different parts of the world and Turkey on the axis of dance, theatre, and performance.

Where? Various venues in Istanbul

When? 17-24 September

Why should you go? Fringe, Turkey's first and only festival that combines the performing arts in a single pot, will bring the traditional stage back to life with its city-wide program of events.

Duly noted: In addition to the performing arts, the festival will also host many workshops, talks, and parties. 

Franz Ferdinand | Fotoğraf: Pitchfork

Source: Pitch Fork

Festival season isn't over, it can't be: +1 Sunar | Cheerz Festival

What is it? Festival. Cheerz, one of the newest festivals in the city, invites us to say 'cheerz' on three different stages for two days.

Where? Life Park

When? 24-25 September 

Why should you go? Franz Ferdinand, Belle, and Sebastian, Nouvelle Vague, Islandman, and Thylacine are the names that get us excited, but let's not overlook the festival's line-up, which is spread over different stages.

Duly noted: TuzBiber Stand-up team will also be at the festival to add to our fun.

Hello, Süreyya Opera House: Dana Zemtsov & Julien Quentin Duo

What is it? Concert. A selection from Bach to Debussy will come to life in a duet of viola and piano.

Where? Süreyya Opera House

When? 26 September

Why should you go? The season opening of Süreyya Opera House promises a feast of classical music that takes from hundreds of years in just one night.

Duly noted: You can reach the well-priced tickets here.

This week in the 17th İstanbul Biennial: Stand-up

What is it? Stand-up. You are invited to a show about the experiences and stories of Sakdiyah, the first Muslim woman stand-up comic of Indonesia.

Where? Aylak Kadıköy

When? Today

Why should you go? It will be an experimental stand-up where you will see reflections of belonging to multiple identities.

Duly noted: The event is held in English, you can contact Aylak Kadıköy for the tickets.

Source: Raife Polat

What remains of performances: The 90s Onstage

What is it? Exhibition. The exhibition, which deals with the relationship of the concept of performance with society, economy, streets and politics from 1988 to the early 2000s, brings together photographs, objects, video recordings, sketches and performances, as well as correspondence, posters and brochures of selected events under one single roof.

Where? Salt Beyoğlu and Salt Galata

When? Until 12 February 2023

Why should you go? While tracing the 90s performance-based productions on the stage, The 90s Onstage offers us different connections to be explored and reveals how wide a spectrum the concept of "stage" exists in.

Duly noted: On 24-25 September, a screening program titled İyi Ki Zamanında Yetiştik is also waiting for you at Salt Beyoğlu. The program consists of videos selected from various countries that use humor as a method of survival.

The fifth element (1997)

A 23rd-century dystopia: The Fifth Element

What is it? Film screening. Luc Besson, who made an extraordinary debut with the film Leon, draws a panorama of a dystopian future with a star-studded cast.

Where? Atlas 1948 Cinema

When? 21 September

Why should you go? We don't think you will ever get to see Bruce Wills, Gary Oldman, Chris Tucker, and Milla Jovovic together again.

Duly noted: You can visit the box office of Atlas 1948 Cinema for tickets to the film, which will be screened as part of Başka Çarşamba.

Out of town

Festivalin geçmiş edisyonlarından bir kare | Fotoğraf: Coffee Festival

Source: Coffee Festival

A city wakes up: Ankara Coffee Festival

What is it? Coffee festival. We wake up to a festival where coffee making, brands, workshops, and seminars about coffee are accompanied by concerts.

Where? Bilkent Center

When? 23-25 September

Why should you go? While meeting your caffeine needs, you will diversify your palate and discover the coffee you drink and its story.

Duly noted: Tickets for the festival, where you will see Bülent Ortaçgil, Adamlar, Al'York, and many more are right here.


Briefly from Istanbul

  • Istanbul Volunteers Initiative announced women's labor markets to be established until 29 September. The addresses of the bazaars are Yeşilköy Beach Park and Caddebostan Beach in order to support the economy of women who produce handicrafts.
  • Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality introduced the Istanbul City Card, a new project for tourists. The card, which comes with two different options, can provide free access to double-decker buses according to tourists' preferences, or opens all public transport vehicles in the city to the service of tourists for varying periods of time with a subscription option. Istanbul City Card can be accessed through ticket machines at more than 30 points with high tourist density.
  • More: Istanbul City Card will soon include access to museums operated by Kültür AŞ and Bosphorus cruise travelling with Şehir Hatları.
Today's sponsor

Taksim Sanat to exhibit in Contemporary Istanbul

One of Turkey’s leading art fairs, the 17th edition of Contemporary Istanbul is calling all art enthusiasts to Tersane Istanbul to view thousands of artworks from hundreds of significant art organisations all over the world, including Kültür AŞ by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Artworks of artists who have exhibited in Taksim Sanat throughout the year such as Cemil Özçelik, Ecem Dilan Köse, Muhittin Can Koyuncu, Nergiz Yeşil, Saltık Doğa Özsar, Serkan Tok and Şevval Konyalı will meet their viewers in Contemporary Istanbul until 22 September.

To follow Taksim Sanat on Instagram, you may visit this link. 


Send news: Dear Istanbulite, we would love to hear from you! Email us your questions or feedback at: [email protected] and DM us if you've heard a rumor about the next hip restaurant that’s worth checking out or anything else. 

And also, love only grows by sharing. So please share Aposto Istanbul with your loved ones.


The 17th Istanbul Biennial Curatorial Team

Interview about the 17th Istanbul Biennial with the curatorial team. We talked about art and more.

Last Tuesday, we met the team at Zeytinburnu Medicinal Plants Garden, one of the biennial venues. We talked about the biennial and its focal points, Istanbul, the inspiration they took from here, and its reflections. We listened to how the biennial, which is spread over different neighbourhoods of Istanbul, develops new methods to create its own language, to create new connections, to think and produce, and how to incorporate existing methods.

Afterward, we went to Barın Han, another biennial venue. We visited the exhibition together, took photographs, learned a lot, and had some fun. We left some questions unanswered with the intention of continuing one day when we meet at an exhibition that is yet unknown to us. Now, we are looking for other ways of seeing and understanding in Zeytinburnu, Balat, Çemberlitaş, Tophane, Pera, Sıraselviler, Yeldeğirmeni, and Hasanpaşa. Here's to many more biennials.


My name is: Amar Kanwar

I am from: India

Recently, I have attended: Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai, and NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, UAE (2020)

My name is: David Teh

I am from: Australia

Recently, I have attended: The CIRCUIT Artist Cinema Commissions, Aotearoa, New Zealand (2020)

My name isUte Meta Bauer

I am from: Germany 

Recently, I have attended: Trinh T. Minh-ha. Films. (2020/2021) 


We are keen on asking about the spirit of Istanbul to people who are involved in the art scene. What's the magic of this city?

Can any biennial represent a whole city of Istanbul’s size, complexity, and layered history? Istanbul's dense historical layers are a treasure trove that includes the classical, the medieval, the modern, and the contemporary. It is our intention for the various neighbourhoods to be recognized as both hosts and participants in this edition.

You began imagining the biennial before the pandemic, and finally, it's tangible. How did the physical distance affect your creative process? 

There were many constraints, and naturally, the physical separation was a big one. The three of us have not been in the same place during the preparations. But all of us were in every conversation, making every decision together and although it was exhausting, it was also very rewarding. We regularly met digitally and the biennial team in Istanbul introduced us to great connections there. The pandemic also encouraged us to invest in sustainable processes rather than seeing the production of an exhibition as the main outcome.

Amar, David and Ute at Barın Han

17th Istanbul Biennial is focusing on 'compost'. More precisely “Can everything be a compost material?” would be the main question. According to this, if we imagine Istanbul as a huge orchard, what do you think are the main components in the formation of this compost?

Compost is a resource that can create itself by a mix of ingredients at its own pace depending on various conditions, and then distributed and used elsewhere with unpredictable outcomes. Two years ago, we invited individuals and groups to develop their ongoing work for the biennial. So we can say that the biennial projects are each the fruit of long-term research and collaboration generated by its process rather than a focus on production. Preparations have taken longer than usual due to the great uncertainty caused by the global pandemic and the one-year postponement. In that sense, this biennial deliberately began way before its official opening date, and we hope that some projects will continue long after.

From your interview with Bige, we understand that the 17th Istanbul Biennial's main goal is to create lasting discussions over time and to let time and discussion shape the content. So how the structure between art, artist, crafts, and the public will be formed, and what will it focus on? How will the liaison be built?

Reaching out to new audiences and establishing new connections with the city are the two goals of this biennial. We especially selected the venues based on their distinctive histories and personalities, as well as their locations in various neighbourhoods. Even for Istanbulites, these settings will have something new or unique to offer. Where can art find an audience? Where can it reach people who aren't typically exposed to it? Where can ideas and experiences be shared and discussed? These were our key considerations while shaping the biennial.

This biennial focuses on the connection between international artists and local artisans such as bibliophiles. What is the relationship between art and daily life within the scope of the biennial? 

The long-term practices of artists, writers, and other creative practitioners are certainly at the center of this biennial. And viewers will be able to encounter these practices anytime, anywhere. Because we’re interested in the sorts of conversation that might happen in coffee shops or bookstores, in a school, a hospital, or a hammam; on the phone, or on a podcast. After years of isolation, everyone is eager to spend time together, to think, talk, read, watch and listen in public. And the biennial will be the perfect platform to host this engagement.

What is the aim of this cultural, dystopian bridge? How does the 17th Istanbul Biennial aim to alter the cultural life of Istanbul?

We wish to leave Istanbul abuzz with conversations! We hope Istanbulites will come and ask questions and question the answers at the biennial. We also hope that this edition will encourage further experimentation, including with the format of international art events.

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The cool kid of Asmalı Mescit: Bordel is here

The street food restaurant where you can find currywurst, bratwurst, “Azgın Tavuk”, crispy French fries, falafel pita, mac & eski kaşar cheese, and more.

Well, it's not the good old days anymore, you know. We are missing the glory days of Asmalı Mescit as a lively, magical place that never disappointed. However, someone said “We should not be hopeless, we are better than this!” and we agreed. We know Asmalı Mescit will come back eventually. We’ll dance till the first light of the morning, the galleries will reopen, Istanbulites will redefine the culture here. Maybe even Babylon will come back. If we can dream it, we can do it.

And the good news is out of Asmalı Mescit this month! Cem Ekşi, the chef of Mabou, one of our favorite restaurants in the neighbourhood, has recently opened Bordel, the street food restaurant where you can find currywurst, bratwurst, “Azgın Tavuk”, crispy French fries, falafel pita, mac & eski kaşar cheese, and more. Chef Gökhan Cilak promises to bring back the old days when we got lost in the streets of Asmalı to find a quick meal before heading home after dancing.

Crispy French fries, falafel pita, mac & eski kaşar cheese

Photo: Elif Bayram

After a glorious night or a visit to an exhibition in Asmalı, stop by Bordel and order what you like. If you ask Berkok, one of our food writers, he recommends Azgın Tavuk (chicken) because of its pita and sauce. If you ask me as a vegetarian, I say go for the French fries and try mac & eski kaşar. If you are open to new experiences, of course. 

What to order: Azgın Tavuk and French fries

Where: Asmalı Mescit Jurnal Street No: 2a

Heads up: It is open between 12 p.m. and 1 a.m. 

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Order a cup of tea and say: "İnce belli bardakta lütfen"

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