Pera Museum presents the exhibition “Etel Adnan: Impossible Homecoming”, which brings together 60 years of work by artist and poet Etel Adnan, whose life spanned nearly a century. The exhibition can be visited through August 8, 2021.

Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum’s new exhibition “Etel Adnan: Impossible Homecoming” brings the audience together with the versatile artist Etel Adnan. Curated by Serhan Ada and Simone Fattal, the exhibition reflects the rich identity of Etel Adnan who was born in Beirut in 1925 to a multilingual, multi-faith, and multi-cultural family and region. Never indifferent to the wars and political-social upheavals that beset her life, the artist uses writing and painting to create her works. The retrospective exhibition includes oil paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, carpets, leporellos, and a film by the artist who “has mastered more than one medium.” Visitors can also listen to recorded interviews made with the artist at various points in her life. Etel Adnan opens up a rich area of discovery and interpretation for the audience with her seasons, landscapes, signs, imaginary planets and satellites in the sky, and impressive energy.

The daughter of a Smyrian Greek mother and an Ottoman officer born in Damascus, both of whom were isolated from their congregations because of their marriage, Etel Adnan has produced works that bear the traces of her roots. Co-curator of the exhibition “Impossible Homecoming” Serhan Ada points out that Etel Adnan’s identity has been shaped by migration, exile, and asylum and states that the exhibition is prepared with a holistic approach towards Adnan’s work. The curator says “Although we don’t always recognize it in disguise, poetry emerges before us out of other places. Etel’s essays seem to be just prose, but they are downright poetry, which has always been part of her paintings. And anyway, isn’t her entire visual opus a poem written in colours?” The exhibition’s co-curator Simone Fattal underlines that it’s not possible to understand Etel Adnan through a single aspect of hers and adds “Etel Adnan is a poet, a writer, a tapestry designer and a painter, and no single one of these facets is enough to do justice to her versatility. She has to be considered from all these aspects and they each need to be examined simultaneously.”

VR Sunil Gohil