Exhibition: Lisbon Memories of Another City
13 May 2009
Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM), is hosting the exhibition titled “LISBON Memories of Another City”, between 14 May - 14 July 2009. Organized in collaboration with Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal, the exhibition introduces the city of Lisbon, a city which is both far and close to us, through the works of major Portuguese painters that lived in a period between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
“LISBON Memories of Another City” was inspired by the exhibition titled “Evocations, Passages, Atmosphere: Paintings from the Sakıp Sabancı Museum Istanbul” realized by SSM and Calouste Culbenkian Foundation in Portugal in 2007. The paintings of this exhibition, that were portraying the views of the Bosphorus and the sea shore, and the scenes from Istanbul’s daily life corroborated the fact that Istanbul and Lisbon share lots of common points even if they are situated at the east and west edges of the European continent. The exhibition titled “LISBON Memories of Another City” organized due to the official visit of Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva to Turkey, delineates the analogies between Istanbul and Lisbon, cities which are considered as vital points for the meeting of cultures, religions, civilizations and continents.
SSM Director Dr. Nazan Ölçer, said “If there is a definition called ‘soul mate’ in this world, that must have been invented for Istanbul and Lisbon. Otherwise, would the sea that blankets over those cities, rough streets, glorious buildings inherited from great empires, people characterized both with an eternal sincerity and a noble timidity and songs that are chanting the stories of yearning and unreachable lovers resemble that much? Is it only a coincidence that we find the traces of these cities in the verses of Portugal’s great poet Fernando Pessoa who at all times narrates about Lisbon, and Yahya Kemal who brought every single district of Istanbul into his poems? Simultaneously in addition to this exhibition, we have another one titled ‘TRAVEL TO THE WEST - 70 Years of Turkish Painting (1860-1930)’ which is representing the works of Turkish painters who lived in the same period of time like their Portuguese colleagues therefore; I consider it as a fortunate coincidence. I think that it’s an elusive opportunity because the art lovers can find the works of these two countries’ painters that never gave up representing their cities, their people and their souls simultaneously in our museum although they were aware of the art movements that were born in Paris. Precisely, those exhibitions will be the most appropriate ways to comprehend the similar souls of these two countries. Hence, throughout the exhibition other activities that will shed a light on the Portuguese culture such as poem and music nights accompanied by other surprise activities will be organized.
Director of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, João Castel-Branco Pereira, said, “Both in Portugal and Turkey as Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation we have collaborated for groundbreaking projects with SSM. Lisbon is a historical city that is also muse of poets and subject of the fado singers... But today, Lisbon is also the city of the future, development, technology, science and accomplishment just like Istanbul. I sincerely wish that the visitors will establish a curiosity to know Lisbon more, discover the common points between Istanbul and Lisbon, the Turks and the Portuguese by the help of this exhibition.”