Talk & Workshop – Learning from Bayt-al Hikma (House of Wisdom) at FLAT art book fair Torino

FLAT Art Book Fair Public Program
curated by Francesca Valentini

Saturday November 4, 2017
4pm-5.30pm | talk and workshop
Learning from Bayt-al Hikma (House of Wisdom)
Collective Çukurcuma, Istanbul (Naz Cuguoğlu, Mine Kaplangı)

Focusing on and experimenting with different modes of collaborative thinking, the publishing work and curatorial projects of Collective Çukurcuma explore the power of books and libraries. For the first edition of FLAT, Çukurcuma has organized a workshop that includes a presentation of its latest exhibition House of Wisdom (Bayt-al Hikma), followed by a reading and a collective discussion.

Inspired by the library of the same name founded in Baghdad at the beginning of the 8th century, House of Wisdom investigates the political relevance of libraries and books. The exhibit was first inaugurated in Berlin in 2016 and then traveled to the İKSV Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building for the 15th Istanbul Biennial (where it runs until November 12, 2017). Moreover, from 2 to 12 November 2017, echoes of the House of Wisdom exhibit can be found in Turin at nH Hotel in Piazza Carlina. The reading groups proposed by the Collective Çukurcuma allow to actually experience the concept of public space. The moment of dialogue organized for FLAT will focus on texts that look into the relevance of libraries and archives in the 21st century, as well as on their revolutionary potential.

Selected texts*:
-Naz Cuguoğlu, “Learning From Bayt-al Hikma,” Art Asia Pacific, August 18, 2017,

Anna-Sophie Springer, “Melancholies of the Paginated Mind: The Libraries as Curatorial Space,” in Springer and Etienne Turpin (eds.), Fantasies of the Library, 2-18 (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016).

Erdem Taşdelen, Convinctions (Vancouver: 221A Artist Run Centre, 2012).

The workshop is open, but limited to 25 participants. To register and receive the English texts that will be discussed please e-mail: The texts will be sent to the registered participants. We suggest you to read the texts before coming to the meeting.

*Please note that the texts are available only in English.

For more information about the fair and its public program please visit


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