ImageA weekend on the road, in Istanbul.  Technically not research (although with domes very much in mind, maybe this was a sub-conscious choice), just a few days in a city that had been calling for a long time.  A beautiful place, full of urban spaces and buildings that have done their work for centuries, often jammed up against buildings from another era or mindset that do something entirely different.  And the food…

ImageShould mention one newer building that’s worth a visit.  The Istanbul Modern, a contemporary art museum in Kirakoy that’s been built into a former shipping warehouse.  Very much of the post-Tate Modern school of “solve the problem and stay out of the way,” which I’ve come to appreciate more and more.  This one doesn’t have the giant turbine hall, even, so the art is really, truly, what’s on display.  And it’s interesting work, too–you don’t typically think of twentieth century art in a city with the Aya Sophia, but their permanent collection is organized in a way that’s didactic in the best sense, and that argues for Turkey’s modern art history as a viable example of international trends seen through a regional lens.  All of it unknown to me, anyway, and much of it compelling and provocative.

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