Isabel Muñoz: A New Story - Photographs From and Around Göbeklitepe

June 1 2023

Pera Museum is gearing up for the exhibition of Spanish photographer Isabel Muñoz, renowned for her captivating monochromatic portraits depicting diverse people and cultures from around the world. Muñoz captures Göbeklitepe, believed to be the oldest place of worship in the world, and its surroundings. In this awe-inspiring region that has left an indelible impression on her, she delves into profound inquiries about mystery, origin, and eternity. Alongside the exhibition's opening on Thursday, June 15, Pera Museum will also host an international archaeology seminar organised by the Spanish Embassy in Türkiye and the Istanbul Cervantes Institute.

The Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum is showcasing renowned artist Isabel Muñoz’s most recent photographs. The extraordinary series freezes in time the essence of Göbeklitepe and the surrounding archaeological sites in the Stone Hills, which hold a rich history dating back approximately 12,000 years. Curated by François Cheval, the Director of Mougins Photography Center and a prominent figure in international photography projects, Isabel Muñoz: A New Story - Photographs From and Around Göbeklitepe can be seen at Pera Museum from June 15 to September 17.

Unveiling the Enigma of Göbeklitepe

Isabel Muñoz, a highly acclaimed photographer whose art has been crowned with several awards such as the Spanish National Photography Award and the Hasselblad Foundation International Photography Award, has exhibited works at prestigious events and institutions like the Venice Biennale and the New York International Photography Center. Her exhibition in Istanbul in 1992 marked her first debut in Türkiye’s art scene.

Muñoz, an intrepid explorer and observer of nature, aesthetics, and diverse cultures, has embarked on a photographic journey through Göbeklitepe, Karahantepe, and Sayburç—some of Türkiye's most significant archaeological sites. Her photographs, transcending mere documentation, capture ethereal and mesmerising imagery that exists in a realm between mystery and artistry, humbly paying homage to these majestic scenes. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to delve into the Stone Hills, which includes the iconic Göbeklitepe, widely recognised as the oldest place of worship worldwide and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2018, through Isabel Muñoz's unique perspective. Isabel Muñoz: A New Story will showcase captivating works, including the artist's innovative utilization of the "Tepetype" printing technique, which involves using soil, for the first time. Notably, the exhibition features an extraordinary self-portrait where Muñoz reflects the electrical waves in her brain through EEG onto the figurative human head sculpture at the Karahantepe Neolithic Site.

Archaeology experiences from Türkiye and Spain

In conjunction with the exhibition, Pera Museum will host the international seminar "Lifting the Mists of Time," focusing on Göbeklitepe and the significant archaeological studies conducted in Spain.Organised by the Spanish Embassy in Türkiye and the Istanbul Cervantes Institute, this event invites academics and archaeologists from both countries for an enriching discourse. The seminar, which will be held at the Pera Museum’s Auditorium, will take place on Thursday, June 15, from 14:00 to 17:00 and is open to the public free of charge.

Additional details regarding the seminar, which will be in English, may be found in the appendices.