'Shared Sacred Sites' exhibition in Ankara

1 July - 30 September 2021
CerModern, Ankara

The “Shared Sacred Sites” project explores a diverse range of locations in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Balkans where the three Abrahamic religions have coexisted. As they have done for centuries, Jews, Christians and Muslims sometimes pray in shrines of another religion. These shared sacred sites are a well-established phenomenon in these regions and reveal the porosity of the boundaries that exist between the different religious communities.
 
Despite theological differences, the three religions share a number of elements in terms of beliefs, rites, holy figures and sites. These crossovers, however, are not devoid of ambiguity and can sometimes also lead to conflict. These sanctuaries thus offer many examples of sharing, but also of partition and division.
 
“Shared Sacred Sites” explores this phenomenon by locating it through various examples in different contexts and by highlighting the entangled places and practices, symbols and figures that define it. Located at the heart of Anatolia, the city of Ankara is ideally positioned to tell the story of “Shared Sacred Sites”, because this area has been a space of cultural and religious contacts for centuries.
 
Conceived as a sort of “pilgrimage” through Mediterranean landscapes, the exhibition reveals both the historical and contemporary aspects of these “sharing of the sacred”. Thanks to a scenography combining anthropological research and contemporary art, it invites visitors to take a journey around shared sanctuaries.
 
Based on years of anthropological and historical research, the multifaceted “Shared Sacred Sites” project is characterized by a rewriting in each iteration of the exhibition. Indeed, the overall topic remains the same, but form, content, and context change from one location to another. Versions of this exhibition were first held at the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (Mucem) in Marseille (2015), then at the Bardo Museum in Tunis (2016); at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum of Photography and Yeni Cami in Thessaloniki (2017); at the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration in Paris (2017); at Dar el-Bacha-Musée des Confluences in Marrakesh (2018); at The New York Public Library, The Morgan Library & Museum and the CUNY Graduate Center in New York (2018); and at Depo in Istanbul (2019).
Curators: Dionigi Albera & Manoël Pénicaud
 
Artists: Saima Altunkaya, Hüsniye Ateş, Benji Boyadgian, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Manuel Çıtak,  Ekrem Ekşi, Thierry Fournier, Giampaolo Galenda, Emrah Gökdemir, Nele Gülck & Nikolai Antoniadis, Engin Irız, Noha Ibrahim Jabbour, Robert Jankuloski, İzzet Keribar, Marco Maione, Jean-Luc Manaud, Diana Markosian, Cécile Massie, Andrea Merli, Ayşe Özalp, Manoël Pénicaud, Nira Pereg, Guy Raivitz, Sarkis, Gildas Sergé, Cemal Taş, Hale Tenger, Francesco Tuccio, Gençer Yurttaş
 
Researchers: Sébastien de Courtois, Dilşa Deniz, Jens Kreinath, Elizabeta Koneska, Sara Kuehn, Marion Lecoquierre, Yael Navaro, Antonio Pusceddu, Aylin de Tapia
 
Collections and archives: Banu-Hakan Çarmıklı Koleksiyonu, C-Album, Gamma-Rapho, Gemäldegalerie, Getty Research Institute, Houshamadyan, IDEMEC-CNRS / Aix-Marseille Université, İstanbul Üniversitesi Nadir Eserler Kütüphanesi, Library of Congress, Musée des civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (Mucem), The National Gallery, The New York Public Library, SATIS / Aix-Marseille Université
 
Exhibition coordinator: Veli Başyiğit
 
Exhibition design: Karşılaşmalar x Sevim Sancaktar x Deniz Uludağ x Mert Zafer Kara
 
Graphic design: Salih Gürkan Çakar x Karşılaşmalar
 
Exhibition production: Lamarts
 
Installation: Team Eight Arms
 
Translations: Killian Cogan, Aslı Çetinkaya, Feride Eralp, Gülşah Mursaloğlu, Élise Perrot-Deniz, Céline Pierre-Magnani, Mert Sarısu
 
Video subtitles: Gökçe İnce
 
Technology sponsor: Arçelik
 
Lighting sponsor: TEPTA Aydınlatma
 
Brochure printing: Ofset Yapımevi
 
Special thanks to: Yorgo Benlisoy, Tanıl Bora, Banu-Hakan Çarmıklı, Murat Çelik, Pınar Çorlu, Silvina Der-Meguerditchian, Dirimart, Fulya Erdemci, Galeri Nev, Goethe-Institut Istanbul, Özlem Gül, Sibel Horada, Çiçek İlengiz, IDEMEC-CNRS / Aix-Marseille Université, İstanbul Kültür Sanat Vakfı (İKSV), Stergios Karavatos, Hagop Emir Kazancıyan, Declan Kiely, Musée des civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (Mucem), Çağla Parlak, Faruk Pekin, Nilüfer Saltık, Anna Vakali, Dorothee Vakalis, Laki Vingas

This exhibition is realized by Anadolu Kültür with the support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and French Cultural Center in Ankara.