Gülsün Karamustafa

Galata Ancient Trade Hall

Gülsün Karamustafa is a chronicler of Istanbul, a crossroads between continents whose multiple—and often conflicting—heritages are visibly and spectacularly piled on one another. For over thirty years, this “Queen Mother of the Istanbul art scene” (in critic and curator Erden Kosova’s words) has been examining her nation’s shifting identity, asking what constitutes its essence and questioning the way it has been perceived and represented by others.

In her new installation, Galata–Genoa (Excavating small windows), 2004, curated by Teresa Macri, Karamustafa turned her attention to the distant past, when Istanbul (then called Constantinople) was commercially linked to the Italian port of Genoa and crusaders regularly stopped in the Turkish city en route to Jerusalem. The installation, originally exhibited in Turin, was set up here in a more elaborate form inside an early-fourteenth-century

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