Istanbul Modern’s exhibition draws from its permanent collection to highlight the historical link to the past that art museums establish as sites of memory, and their role in shaping the future by their commitment to collecting and preserving works of art.
Museums are experienced in the present yet they are also spaces poised at the intersection between past and future. They embody the dynamics of change in art, intellectual expansion, creative contexts, new modes of expression, and the visual and verbal legacies that artists inherit from one another. A museum is both a memory palace fueling creativity and discovery and a rich universe of visual materials harboring potential resources for the future.
“Past and Future”, Istanbul Modern’s permanent collection exhibition, adopts a chronological format to address the transformation of modern and contemporary art in Turkey from its beginning to the present day.
At the same time, it serves as a vehicle to showcase a collection that future fields of creative expression can exploit. The exhibition features some 180 works by 136 artists from the Museum’s varied collection, which both claims the past as a cultural and artistic legacy and shapes the future through its interaction with the present.
As it explores the exchanges across time inherent in art, the exhibition also underscores the rich diversity between past and future that gives the collection its unique character.