On the Spot

Panoramic Gaze on Istanbul, A History

October 26, 2023 - February 25, 2024

The exhibition aims to shed new light on the history of Istanbul’s representations through panoramic paintings and photographs. It critically approaches the history of the "panorama" and contextualizes its many iterations. While examining the layered relationships in the production and consumption of panoramic images, the exhibition also explores the circulation of these images among different audiences, their receptions, and the connections between various media that have gained popularity over centuries.

An early 19th-century panorama of Istanbul, previously not published or exhibited, is being unveiled for the first time with the exhibition. As it brings together some of the most remarkable works by artists who captured a panoramic view of Istanbul, such as Barker, Gudenus, Schranz, Melling, Dunn, and Robertson, it also reveals how the panoramic perspective has been used to document different phenomena in Istanbul's history, from fire disasters to industrialization. While concentrating on 19th-century panoramas and panoramic images, On the Spot invites its audience to a comprehensive reconsideration of the long history of the panoramic perspective dating back to the early modern period, and Istanbul's position within this history.

The exhibition On the Spot: Panoramic Gaze on Istanbul, A History portrays the circulation of this representational form in the Ottoman world and Europe through a diverse selection of materials, including ephemera and archival documents in addition to paintings, prints, and photographs, while exploring the fluidity within this diversity and the dialogues between different media.

Curated by Çiğdem Kafescioğlu, K. Mehmet Kentel, and M. Baha Tanman, the exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue containing articles that aim to re-read urban history and histories of architecture, art, photography, and modern consumption, through the frame provided by panoramic images.


Image Credits

Joseph Warnia-Zarzecki
Coffee on the Dolmabahçe Ridges, late 19th century
68 x 98 cm
Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Orientalist Painting Collection

Panorama of Istanbul from the Galata Tower, section, early 19th century
40 x 350 cm
Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Orientalist Painting Collection

Philippe von Gudenus
Vue de la ville de Constantinople, capitale de l’Empire Ottoman (The view of the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire), first part, 1740
44 x 410 cm
Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Istanbul Research Institute Library

Henry Aston Barker
Key to a Series of Eight Views forming a Panorama of the City of Constantinople and its Environs taken from the Tower of Galata, 1811
32 x 32 cm
British Library


Is he sping on us?  <br>Vajiko Chachkhiani

Is he sping on us?
Vajiko Chachkhiani

Pera Museum, in collaboration with Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), is one of the main venues for this year’s 15th Istanbul Biennial from 16 September to 12 November 2017.

Soothsayer Serenades I Two-handed by Kübra Uzun

Soothsayer Serenades I Two-handed by Kübra Uzun

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Moscow Conceptualists

Moscow Conceptualists

Our institutions have been stuck on linear Neo-Platonic tracks for 24 centuries. These antiquated processes of deduction have lost their authority. Just like art it has fallen off its pedestal. Legal, educational and constitutional systems rigidly subscribe to these; they are 100% text based.