Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Dismantling the Archive: Representation, Identity, Memory in an Ottoman Family
Representation, Identity, Memory in an Ottoman Family. The exhibition follows the idea that the story of a life is like an archive, a mass of constructed and filtered events that are unconnected to one another, random, irrational.
“To produce a life history or to consider life as a history, that is, as a coherent narrative of a significant and directed sequence of events, is perhaps to conform to a rhetorical illusion.” Pierre Bourdieu
Dismantling the Archive: Representation, Identity, Memory in an Ottoman Family follows the idea that the story of a life is like an archive, a mass of constructed and filtered events that are unconnected to one another, random, irrational. It focuses on the years 1900-1940 of the Said Bey Archive, donated by Hatice Gonnet Bağana to SALT Research, encompassing three generations from the late Ottoman period up through the early years of the Republic of Turkey.
The exhibition attempts to understand how a family, as it passed through a complicated process of transition, expressed and represented itself in writing, photography, music, narratives, and material culture. It goes on to explore how family memories became intertwined with the national narrative of the young republic still in the process of formation, and how the family constructed their own identities by delineating social and class boundaries.
The exhibition aims to probe the possibilities and limitations of biographical and historiographical investigation and to make these disciplines as transparent as possible. It emphasizes the word “dismantling”, the antithesis of the integrity, order, isolation, and privacy typically attributed to archives and to biography.
Dismantling the Archive is not simply a historical and archival exhibition: it is also an exhibition on historiography and archivism and is itself an essay in historiography.
Opening 21st January 2014
Bankalar Caddesi 11, Istanbul
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10.00-18.00 Wednesday 12.00-20.00