There could hardly have been a more fitting location for “Welcome to Homeland,” Halil Altındere’s new solo show, than the Sadık Pasha Mansion. Located in a quiet part of the affluent neighborhood of Cihangir, this wooden neoclassical palazzo was built in the nineteenth century by a Polish émigré, Michał Czajkowski, who was sent to Istanbul to establish a colony for his asylum-seeking compatriots. A century and a half later, migration remains a hot-button issue, and it was central to Altındere’s exhibition.
The lower floor offered a comprehensive showcase of Altındere’s most recent body of work, “Space Refugee,” 2016, which takes as its departure point the life of Muhammed Ahmed Faris, the first Syrian in space, who had to seek refuge in Istanbul during the Syrian civil war. Six paintings are based on press photographs featuring Faris’s beaming fatherly countenance. While three of
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