Pera Museum, in Istanbul, honours Beirut-born artist, writer, playwright, filmmaker, poet Etel Adnan with “Etel Adnan: Impossible Homecoming”, an exhibition which brings together 60 years of work by artist. The show is on view until 8 August, 2021.
Curated by Professor and UNESCO-Chair Serhan Ada and Lebanese-American artist Simone Fattal, Impossible Homecoming examines Adnan’s central themes of migration, exiles, wars and multiculturalism through her paintings and drawings which feature imaginary planets, signs, landscapes and vibrant colours open for interpretations.
The retrospective exhibition includes oil paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, carpets, leporellos, and a film by the multifaceted artist, as well as recorded interviews the artist gave at different points in her life. Adnan is 96 year old and has been exhibited worldwide including at MASS MoCA and dOCUMENTA (13).
The publication which accompanies the exhibition includes texts by curators Serhan Ada and Simone Fattal, as well as a short essay by Etel Adnan herself discussing the making of the exhibition. Alongside this important text, runs an article titled About the End of the Ottoman Empire by Adnan. Serpentine and ubiquitous curator Hans Ulrich Obrist also contributed to the book with a text titled Ever Etel. More interesting literature exploring Adan’s formidable and long-lasting career can be found in the book namely, Jean Frémon’s article The Worlds of Etel Adnan, Jalal Toufic’s preface to Etel Adnan’s Arab Apocalypse book, and Theodoros Terzopoulos’s text titled The Colour of the Word. The publication also presents a comprehensive biography of the artist with illustrations of the works on display in the show.