Visitors to Istanbul are so overwhelmed with well-meaning but intimidatingly numerous hints and tips (go here! eat this!) that navigating the city’s many sights can be slightly overwhelming. But The Museum of Innocence whispers where others shout and yet it’s undoubtedly one of the most energising, intriguing museum experiences imaginable.
It was opened in April this year, the culmination of a 15-year labour of love by Nobel-prize winning author Orhan Pamuk who wrote a 2008 novel of the same name. In a quiet three-story house he has created what purports to be a physical tribute to the book’s main characters – Kemal and Füsun – and their extraordinary love story.
Arranged in 83 cabinets which represent each of the novel’s chapters, it’s a strange collection of trinkets, objects and other ephemera which engage visitors not only with the story’s protagonists but question gently the very nature of human relationships and emotional connections, and the unlikely ways in which they are manifested.
There’s a huge cabinet holding the butts of every cigarette Füsun was meant to have smoked during a six year period (categorised by date), photos of female victims from old newspaper reports with their eyes blacked out , there’s photos and food, combs and brooches, a shaving mirror, cinema tickets and several completely baffling pieces which can’t really be identified.
But the some total is a hugely moving experience, an insight into the private worlds lovers create which manage to be simultaneously completely personal and utterly universal. With its cool, dark rooms and deftly-maintained blurring of fictional boundaries, to visit the museum is to be manipulated in the most pleasant way possible.
- Long-limbed characters play out scenes in Serafine Frey's brilliant illustrations
- An insight into The Guardian’s newly released brand guidelines
- Humorously choreographed nudes in Ave Pildas’ photography
- Renowned design writers Charlotte and Peter Fiell show us what's on their bookshelf
- Talking ten years of Fantastic Man with Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom
- Absence, loneliness and the western quest for happiness: the strange world of Vacuum
- Photographing the choreography and chaos of the England cheerleading team
- Russian photographer Erik Panov's latex and salmon themed fashion shoot
- New Channel 4 identity by creative dream team of 4Creative, Jonathan Glazer, Neville Brody and DBLG
- A new stop-motion Honda advert took four months, dozens of illustrators and thousands of drawings
- Abstract, symbol-laden work from designer Hirofumi Abe
- Creative producer Luella Lane tells us about her amazing 80s sticker collection