House of Wisdom I Nottingham

Artists: Mohamed Abdelkarim, Burak Arıkan, Mahmoud Bakhshi, Yael Bartana, Mehtap Baydu, Kürşat Bayhan, Ruth Beale, Ekin Bernay, Burçak Bingöl, Nicky Broekhuysen, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Cansu Çakar, Ramesch Daha, Işıl Eğrikavuk, Didem Erk, Foundland Collective, Deniz Gül, Beril Gür, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, İstanbul Queer Art Collective (Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergül), Ali Kazma, Yazan Khalili, Göksu Kunak, Mona Kriegler, Fehras Publishing Practices, Elham Rokni, Natascha Sadr Haghighian & Ashkan Sepahvand, Sümer Sayın, Erinç Seymen, Bahia Shehab, Walid Siti, Ali Taptık, Erdem Taşdelen, Özge Topçu, Viron Erol Vert, Ali Yass, Eşref Yıldırım, Ala Younis

Curators: Collective Çukurcuma (Naz Cuguoğlu and Mine Kaplangı)

Public Programme Curator: Cüneyt Çakırlar
Exhibition Dates: 28.09 – 27.10.2018
Venues: Bonington Gallery Vitrines and Atrium of Nottingham Trent University’s Art and Design Faculty, Bromley House Library, Five Leaves Bookshop and Primary.
Opening: 27 September, Thursday 5-8 pm at Bonington Vitrines and Atrium

“To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions-there we have none.” 
                                                                                                                      Virginia Woolf, How Should One Read a Book, 1925

Throughout history, libraries have been perceived as places where information on life and space are organised, read, and interpreted. Their political significance, however, has at times been underestimated. As in the example of the original House of Wisdom*, libraries are also known as centers of research, learning, and sharing. This concentration and exchange of knowledge makes them important symbols of political power and the formation of cultural identity. Based on the power of libraries, and Foucault’s notion of the archive as ‘the general system of the formation and transformation of statements’, the curators followed their archival urge and decided to build their own archive-library. To shed light on the increasing levels of censorship on information, knowledge and the current sociopolitical situation in and around Turkey, they invited artists and researchers to take part in the project. The House of Wisdom, ever-evolving library-exhibition aims to rethink the political nature of books, whose mere existence is under threat, and ultimately asks the question: ‘What could be the outcome of collectively rethinking the notion of the archive and knowledge production through art, particularly when issues such as censorship and suppression of information are involved?’

House of Wisdom is an open space, a gathering place. Visitors are invited to enter and discover the library-exhibition to read, discuss, collaborate, scheme, and exchange knowledge and ideas. And with its fourth location, the exhibition is expanding throughout the city of Nottingham. Inviting visitors to walk and discover the city with the exhibition map, House of Wisdom will utilise the Vitrines of Bonington Gallery and the Atrium of the Nottingham Trent University’s School of Art and Design. Artworks and books will also be placed in other venues like local bookshops (The Five Leaves Bookshop) an old primary school that has been transformed into an art space (Primary) and a historical library (Bromley House Library). By expanding the exhibition space from one room to various spaces around the city, House of Wisdom is hoping the build an invisible relation between being a visitor and being a wanderer. And this year the exhibition’s public programme is curated by Dr. Cüneyt Çakırlar from Nottingham Trent University, who organised a series of events including performances, workshops, reading groups, talks and screenings.

*House of Wisdom (Bayt-al Hikma) was a library founded in the beginning of the 8th century in Baghdad, where thousands of books in various languages from different regions, on philosophy, art, science, and history were housed. Researchers from different regions came together to make research, and work on techniques of translation, writing, and discussion.

**House of Wisdom is a mobile and ever-evolving library/exhibition curated by Collective Çukurcuma. It was previously shown at Dzialdov (Berlin, 2017), IKSV Building (Public program of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, 2017) and Framer Framed (Amsterdam, 2017).

Facebook event:

House of Wisdom Nottingham is produced and organised by Queer Art Projects and made possible by Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants with the support of Nottingham Trent University, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Bromley House Library, Primary and Five Leaves Bookshop.

Public Programme:
Curator/Coordinator: Dr Cüneyt Çakırlar (Nottingham Trent University, UK)

Istanbul Queer Art Collective
Visiting Bibliophiles: Fellowship of Books
Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergul will visit Emeritus Professor of Gay and Lesbian Studies, Gregory Woods. Presenting their Just in Bookcase, they will have a conversation on book loving, queer archiving and memory.

3 October 2018 Wednesday
Prof. Wendy Shaw (Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany)
Islam in the River of Wisdoms
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH
Time: 19:00-21:00

10 October 2018 Wednesday
Misal Adnan Yıldız (ASA, Berlin, Germany)
A Feeling of Loss: Mutterzunge
Venue: Primary, Reading Room, 33 Seely Road, Nottingham NG7 3FZ
Time: 18:00-20:00

17 October 2018 Wednesday
Film Screening (introduced by Cüneyt Çakırlar, NTU)
Gürcan Keltek’s Colony (2015)
Venue: BON143, Bonington, Nottingham Trent University, Dryden Street, Nottingham NG1 4GG
Time: 18:00-20:00

22 October 2018 Monday
Dr Aylin Kuryel (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
UPLEFTER: Workshop on Political Depression
Venue: BON146, Bonington, Nottingham Trent University, Dryden Street, Nottingham NG1 4GG
Time: 18:00-20:00

24 October 2018 Wednesday
Exhibition Walkthrough with Mine Kaplangı & Cüneyt Çakırlar
Meeting Point: Bonington Gallery (entrance), NTU, Dryden Street, Nottingham NG1 4GG
Time: 13:00-15:00


24 October 2018 Wednesday
Film Screening (introduced by Cüneyt Çakırlar, NTU)
Shevaun Mizrahi’s Distant Constellation (2017)
Venue: BON143, Bonington, Nottingham Trent University, Dryden Street, Nottingham NG1 4GG
Time: 18:00-20:00

The public programme events for the House of Wisdom Nottingham are sponsored by School of Arts and Humanities, Nottingham Trent University. The programme is also supported by Bonington Gallery, Primary, Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, and Bromley House Library.

E-book of the exhibition can be downloaded from here

House of Wisdom Nottingham, Bonington Atrium. Photo by Jules Lister, 2018

House of Wisdom Nottingham, Bonington Atrium. Photo by Jules Lister, 2018

House of Wisdom Nottingham, Bonington Atrium. Photo by Jules Lister, 2018

House of Wisdom Nottingham, Bonington Atrium, Photo by Eda Sancakdar, 2018

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Ayp, Pen, Kim Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Write Injuries on Sand and Kindness on Marble, House of Wisdom Nottingham, Primary. Photo by Eda Sancakdar, 2018

House of Wisdom Nottingham, Bromley House Library, Photo by Eda Sancakdar, 2018

Ali Taptık, Meridians-Mirror, House of Wisdom Nottingham, Five Leaves Bookshop. Photo by Eda Sancakdar, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 18.32.41



One thought on “House of Wisdom I Nottingham

  1. Pingback: Long read: House of Wisdom and its unpalatable foreigners - China Soaring Newswire

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