ISTANBUL / S.U. Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM) explores the 1001 faces of Orientalism with its new exhibition. “1001 Faces of Orientalism” will be open to visitors at SSM until 11 August 2013.

image “1001 Faces of Orientalism” / Courtesy of Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM)

The exhibition studies the 19th century Orientalism analysing its effects on diversified areas such as literature, archaeology, painting, architecture, universal exhibitions, photography and fashion. Rare books, photographs from the archaeological excavation sites, examples of Ottoman architecture, interior and stage decorations, costumes, studio photographs and souvenirs are presented in the “1001 Faces of Orientalism” exhibition. The exhibition centered around Orientalist paintings and statues, is realised with the sponsorship of Çiftçi Towers, technology support of Teknosa and accommodation support of The Grand Tarabya.

The exhibition examines Orientalism from a multi-dimensional perspective, during an era when the East became the focus of great interest in Europe, due to Napoléon Bonaparte’s Egyptian Campaign in 1798 along with the strong debates following Edward Said’s book Orientalism, published in 1978. The goal of the exhibition is not to see Orientalism as a unilateral discourse under the control of and centered on the West that divides cultures into two polarized groups, but also to look at this phenomenon from outside the European context and distinguish its multiple, diverse, and sometimes contradictory aspects.

SSM Director Dr. Nazan Ölçer comments, “We have been working on this exhibition for one year and a half now. The exhibition is based on a wide range of areas including literature, archeology, music, photography and fashion, under the support of historians and experts in history of art. We present the concept of Orientalism in all mentioned areas, by broadly examining the scene after Napoléon's Egyptian Campaign, which went beyond its name and turned into a fairly academic and scientific invasion, triggering in the West a huge interest towards the East. This interest led to great transformations in the Western arts and culture. We invite everyone to discover Orientalism together, which has been more permanent than any other movement in the 19th century and has brought a long-term change to art scene of the 20th century.”

Here are some of the highlights of the exhibition:

image Istanbul Beylerbeyi Palace / Courtesy of Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM)

image Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910) Reciting Quran, Oil on Canvas, Sakıp Sabancı Museum Collection / Courtesy of Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM)

image Sala de las dos Hermanas, Elhambra Palace (James Cavanagh Murphy, The Arabian Antiquities of Spain, London 1813) / Courtesy of Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM)

image Decorative oriental place produced for European market, 19th century / Courtesy of Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM)

image Istanbul Mansion of Ministry of War / Courtesy of Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM)

“1001 Faces of Orientalism” will be open to visitors at SSM until 11 August 2013.

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