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The exhibition entitled “Istanbul: Passion, Joy, Fury” curated by Hou Hanru, Ceren Erdem, Elena Motisi, Donatella Saroli was held on 11 December 2015–1 May 2016 at MAXXI. SAHA provided support for the production of the works by the artists, the publication and the position of independent curator Ceren Erdem.

“Istanbul. Passion, Joy, Fury” presents the work of 45 artists, architects and intellectuals through major works, new artistic projects and audio-visual testimony in multiplicity of idioms and expressions. “Istanbul. Passion, Joy, Fury” tackles the dynamics, the changes and the cultural demands of contemporary Turkey, a bridge between the western and eastern worlds. The exhibition examines five major themes: urban transformations; political conflicts and resistance; innovative models of production; geopolitical urgencies; hope. This exhibition is the second stage in a project devoted to the cultural realities of the Mediterranean and the relationship between the Middle East and Europe initiated in 2014 with the exhibition of contemporary Iranian art and which is due to continue in 2017 with a project devoted to Beirut.

The invited artists and architects

Volkan Aslan, Fikret Atay, Vahap Avşar, Osman Bozkurt, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Antonio Cosentino, Burak Delier, Cem Dinlenmiş, Cevdet Erek, İnci Eviner, Extrastruggle, Nilbar Güreş, Ha Za Vu Zu, Emre Hüner, Ali Kazma, Ceren Oykut, Pınar Öğrenci, Ahmet Öğüt, Didem Özbek, Şener Özmen, Didem Pekün, Zeyno Pekünlü, Sarkis, Ali Taptık, Serkan Taycan, Cengiz Tekin, Güneş Terkol, Nasan Tur, Hamra Abbas, Can Altay & Jeremiah Day, Halil Altındere, Emrah Altınok, Architecture For All (Herkes İçin Mimarlık), Atelier Istanbul: Arnavutköy, İmre Azem & Gaye Günay, Angelika Brudniak & Cynthia Madansky, Sinan Logie & Yoann Morvan, Networks of Dispossession, Nejla Osseiran, PATTU, Mario Rizzi, SO?, ŞANALarc and Superpool.


Conceived as a broad cultural campus, MAXXI is managed by a Foundation constituted in the July of 2009 by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and headed by Giovanna Melandri. Since December 2013 Hou Hanru has been the Artistic Director of the museum, which includes MAXXI Architettura, directed by Margherita Guccione, and MAXXI Arte, directed by Anna Mattirolo. The programming of the activities – exhibitions, workshops, conferences, shows, projections, educational projects – reflects MAXXI’s vocation as a place for the conservation and exhibition of its collections but also, and above all, a laboratory for cultural experimentation and innovation, for the study, research and production of the aesthetic contents of our time. The MAXXI building is a major architectural work designed by Zaha Hadid, located in Rome’s Flaminio quarter and featuring innovative and spectacular forms.