collection

At room temperature

The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.

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Description

The woman in the photo is Aydan Murtezaoglu. Standing with her back to the audience, she looks over the city of Istanbul and smokes a cigarette. The window is open, and the viewer can see smoke emerging from the city’s many chimneys. This is not a self-portrait, but rather an image she wants to share with us. Interpretation depends on the spectator’s social and cultural background, available information, and questions. What does the image of a smoking woman at an open window in winter say? And does the fact that Istanbul is a largely Islamic city, contributes to our interpretation of the image, or does it confirm our prejudices?

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Context

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