What is a Turk? How do you define Turkish life? How do you dispel false opinions about everyday life in Istanbul? Ibek Duben (b. 1941) attempts to answer those very questions in What is a Turk? Using thirty postcards, Duben created a work that comments on the prejudices that have been formed about Turkey. On the front of each postcard is a picture of some aspect of everyday life in Istanbul. On the backs of the postcards are quotations from historical figures that visited Turkey during the twentieth century and wrote about their impressions. Viewing both sides of the postcards together provides contrasting ideas about the reality of Turkish life. The quotations are written proof of the stereotypes about Istanbul that existed and still exist in Western thought while the photographs provide visual representation of actual Turkish life. This work serves as a reminder and visual symbol of what defines Turkish identity.
Come see this work and learn about Turkish life in the exhibition A Dream…but not Yours: Contemporary Art From Turkey opening February 12th.
About the Author- Breezy Diether is currently an education intern at NMWA.