Travel back in the Silk Road and Time, Muse Contemporary Gallery, Istanbul

Duration: 18 April - 9 May 2022
Artist: Renate Graf
Curator: Nicolas Martin Ferreira
Creative Director: Taner Yılmaz


Travel back in the Silk Road and time / En remontant le temps et les routes de la Soie

Following her first solo exhibition this year in Turkey at CerModern, Ankara, the works of Renate Graf meet art lovers in Istanbul. The exhibition, curated by Nicolas Martin Ferreira will take place in three different venues, between April 18 and May 22.

In 1993, Renate Graf undertook a journey on the Silk Road through Central Asia with her husband Anselm Kiefer. The genesis of this journey begins with Anatolia, which combines the riches of the East and the West, a true crossroads of civilizations. Its priceless heritage offers a mosaic of fascinating landscapes. This three-month exploration was a powerful source of inspiration for the artist.

On her return, Renate Graf established a kind of photographic travel diary from which the iconic prints of this exhibition are taken. These images take place from Central Asia to the roads of Konya, a traditional city located in the center of the Anatolian plateau.

The ascent of the Silk Road is also a journey through time which reveals natural or architectural elements that bear witness, through encounters, to the passage from one world to another. Renate Graf presents some of her most striking pieces such as her photographs of daily life, fleeting moments frozen in time and eternity.

 From the sacred to global warming

 It is completed with the central theme of the environment and global warming, through the danger of melting ice.

This problem is no stranger to Turkey, which in recent years has been hit by the multiplication of periods of drought and floods. Over the years, the glaciers in the mountains have retreated ten meters and the snow has started to melt prematurely, raising the water level of Turkish snow-fed rivers. An activist committed to nature, Renate Graf raises awareness and sensitizes people to repair the mistakes of the past.

 A video by Renate Graf explains the expertise of her work and her technique: “I carry within me all the dreams of this world and one of those dreams is to travel the world and rewrite it with my images… My inspiration to travel across Central Asia, India and Turkey was, among others, the great poet Rumi and Sufism. My thoughts wander in this magical world that can still evoke wonders and my images of real and dream intertwine with my memory between reality and imagination…” Renate Graf.

Three exhibition venues in Istanbul

 The exhibition will take place in three places: the Austrian Consulate, Institut Français de Turquie - Istanbul and Muse Contemporary Art Gallery.

The Palace of Austria, located along the banks of the Bosphorus, will present photographs focusing on the droughts and melting ice, alongside strong images of the Silk Road.


Muse Contemporary Art Gallery, founded by Ayşe Pınar Akalın, will also be hosting a special selection of photographs from the memorable journey of the artist Renate Graf through the Silk Road. Address: Levent, Aydın Sokağı No:12 K:1, 34330 Beşiktaş/İstanbul