Now don't forget it's Istanbul not Constantinople.

Turkish soap operas have been all the rage lately in the Middle East, with the likes of Muhannad and Asmar capturing women’s hearts across the region (perhaps even a few guys, but we are not giving away any names). Hence it would seem fitting given the interest in everything Turkish recently, that the Al-Riwaq Gallery plays host to “Becoming Istanbul”- an international as well as interactive multimedia exhibition in collaboration with the Garanti Gallery.

Established in 1988, Al-Riwaq Gallery has become one of the most active galleries of it’s kind in Bahrain. Not only has it hosted exhibitions by numerous artists – local, regional and international – but Al-Riwaq Gallery has also organised a number of interesting workshops, for kids and adults. March of 2009 saw Al Riwaq opening another modern space in Al Aali mall, bigger than the original gallery in Adliya, and within a prestigious location. The new space includes 500m2 of exhibition space, a film/screening room, a bookstore and a workshop dedicated to public programming, which is where the “Becoming Istanbul” exhibition can be found.

The “Becoming Istanbul” Exhibition attempts to showcase this city’s rich history thereby allowing viewers to visualize “the countless existences of this old Metropolis and (it’s) meanings from as many angles as possible”. What is truly fascinating about this exhibition is the fact that you get to observe Istanbul’s many facets through a series of projections of works by artists, cartoons, and architectural projects (to name a few); some of which go as far back as ten years. An artistic feat that allows one to examine and relive the many stages that built up and lead to the formation of Istanbul today, this exhibition is a sight for sore eyes.

The exhibition runs until the 21st of June 2009 in Al Riwaq Gallery, in Al Aali Mall; so you really have no excuse not to pop in for a look!

Sadly, we can’t promise that you’ll bump into Asmar or Muhannad, but we promise that you’ll enjoy it, and definitely even learn a thing or two.

– Noora Abul

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