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In praise of shadows

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Project Type
Performing Arts
In praise of shadows
Irish Partner
Istanbul Modern Sanat Muzesi Iktisadi Isletmesi (Turkey)

Benaki Museum (EL), Irish Museum of Modern Art (IE)

Funding Strand
Strand 1.2.1 - Cooperation Measures
Year Funded
Funding Amount

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Black eyes was an exhibition about shadows, shadow theatre and silhouettes, based on old and contemporary folk tales and on simple narratives.

At the heart of the exhibition was the shadow theatre tradition of Turkey and Greece, and its character Karagöz, known as Karaghiozis in Greece, an ever hungry trickster that lives through hundreds of adventures and misadventures with a varied set of characters. Karagöz dates back to the 16th-century in Turkey and to the 19th-century in Greece. His stories are still performed today by puppeteers who have adapted his adventures for today’s public.

The exhibition explored the formal analogies and the conceptual references that a new narrative spirit in contemporary art has with shadow plays and, conversely, the influence this traditional artform has had on the world of contemporary art in recent years. The works on exhibition were selected for their specific affinities to the world, to the narrative structure, and to the modes of Turkish and Greek shadow plays.

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