March 25, 2011

Istanbul Modern presents ‘Paradise Lost’

Today marks the official opening of the “Paradise Lost” exhibition at the Tophane-based contemporary art museum, İstanbul Modern. Co-curated by Paolo Colombo and Levent Çalıkoğlu, the exhibition invites visitors to consider the future through the medium of video and digital arts, exploring the ways in which 21 internationally acclaimed contemporary artists address a range of topical issues related to nature and technology, and the major ecological changes that have affected the world in recent years.

Speaking at a press preview at the museum yesterday, Çalıkoğlu discussed the relevance of the project in light of the current earthquake and nuclear disaster which have crippled Japan, contending that the contradictory forces of nature and technology are likely to prescribe an eternal conflict.

“Our apocalyptic view of the future and our economically motivated exploitation of nature and its consequences are some of the issues and approaches that our artists, coming from different generations and backgrounds, use to present nature in this exhibition.”

Located in the accommodating and expansive ground-floor exhibiting area of İstanbul Modern, the display explores our longing for an earthly paradise, challenging the idea of nature as a gift that can be modified by mankind and raising a series of underlying questions and issues about the “nature” of nature itself in our postmodern world; does an unspoiled natural world exist? Is our notion of nature essentially a cultural idea? Will the human footprint extend beyond a point of no return, or have we long since passed this point? Finally, will technology be the “new nature”?

Read more on Today's Zaman: Istanbul Modern presents ‘Paradise Lost’

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