this is the list of all my favourites in instanbul, in increasing order:

5. the besiktas galleries. i stayed in besiktas so i was lucky enough to have several good venues around. the best was probably the galerist/akaretler (one of the three places that go under the same name, the other two are in beyoglu). it had the warhol in motion exhibition going on (8.06-9.07) featuring many of the polaroids he took of himself (especially when he was getting his drag on) and of his famous friends. the other two galerists venues, galatasaray and tepebasi, shared films by the pop artist.

another very interesting place was rampa istanbul. i especially liked how they used a window looking to the street to showcase and get passers by interested and forward them to their across the street, 2 levels down main space. the gallery has two ongoing shows (10.06-16.07): invited and volunteered and quid rides? de te fabula narratur.

i also liked artlimits, a gallery currently showing photography and art on (where i apparently missed damien hirst’s butterflies…) which has 4 turkish artists on show (2.06-2.07).

4. proje4L/elgiz museum of contemporary art turns 10 this year. hidden behind a sky scraper, beybi giz plaza (insert all your baby jesus jokes here. hihi!), the museum had a huge surprise for me: mur de la montee des anges by jan fabre, made of a wire structure completely covered in beetles. wow! (but i’ll come back with a detailed post on the insect fascination of the belgian artist. watch this space!) the exhibition also included a few tracey emin pieces and a whole lot of turkish artists. it was interesting, definitely worth going. also, they have a modern looking museum cafe great for a post-exhibition drink.

3. the cool kanyon mall situated in the levent business area. there are people checking you and your bag upon entrance. terrorist attacks suck!  the beautiful winding shopping area is situated between a sky scraper and a residential building and it’s a real see-and-be-seen kind of place.

2. istanbul modern – for the cool museum, outstanding restaurant and breath-taking views

1. santral istanbul – for the amazing, albeit isolated, location, great exhibition space and dilemma-inducing choice of hang out places

and, totally on topic, mark the date! contemporary istanbul (24-27.11)