Orhan Pamuk: The Art of Fiction – In the Museum

Stories of individuals are much better suited to dis­playing the depths of our humanity than large, national museums, according to Orhan Pamuk. This seminar explores the author's museum vision in conjunction with our exhibition "Orhan Pamuk: The Art of Fiction". The program features international scholars within museology, cultural studies, and other subjects. 

Foto: Innocence Founration / Refik Anadol
Photo: Innocence Foundation /Refik Anadol

In his 2008 novel The Museum of Innocence, Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk argues for the small and personalized museum. Our seminar seeks to explore the background for his literary and artistic venture into museums, and presents fresh research on how the Istanbul museum can be read and is actually experienced and received by its visitors. We further contextualize Pamuk’s vision of museums within both the Turkish and European museum landscape, and discuss critically his plea for museums telling the stories of individuals. What experience and insight can the small museum offer? The seminar is organized in cooperation with The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo.

“In every novel and museum […] the most delicate and entertaining question is the distinction between what is real and what is fiction.”     Orhan Pamuk


08:45    Registration and coffee

09:00    Professor Brita Brenna, University of Oslo: Introduction to the seminar

09:20    Short video address from Orhan Pamuk on the Oslo exhibition and seminar

09:30    Curator Selene Wendt, The Global Art Project: ORHAN PAMUK: THE ART OF FICTION

10:00    Professor Bernt Brendemoen, University of Oslo: THE ROLE OF THE MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE IN THE LITERARY OEUVRE OF ORHAN PAMUK

             Discussion and coffee break

11:00    Associate Professor Björn Magnusson Staaf, Lund University: CITY HISTORY AND FICTION – STUDYING THE MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE AND ITS VISITORS

11:30    Associate Professor Malene Vest Hansen, University of Copenhagen: PERFORMING TIME IN SPACE: THE MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE

             Discussion and lunch break.

13:15    Research Associate Gönül Bozoğlu, Newcastle University:


13:45    Professor Christopher Whitehead, Newcastle University and University of Oslo: MUSEUMS OF EXPERIENCE: STORIES OF PLACES AND LIVES IN EUROPEAN MUSEUM PRACTICE

             Discussion and coffee break

14:45    Professor Mari Lending, Oslo School of Architecture and Design: THE SMALL MUSEUM: IDIOSYNCRACY AND SENTIMENTALITY

15:15    Discussion and conclusions

16:00    SUMMING UP – Professor Gro Ween and Professor Brita Brenna

16:30    Closing of the seminar


The seminar is free of charge. For registration, follow this link.

For questions, please contact martin.hager-saltnes@khm.uio.no, +47 97 19 25 35.


Gönül Bozoğlu has a background in Art History, Archaeology and Museum Studies, with experience of working in museums in the UK and on archaeological excavations in Turkey and the Middle East. She works on a number of projects related to European and Turkish heritages, and their interrelations. She is completing an extensive study of Neo-Ottoman and Kemalist nostalgias in museums and public cultures, focusing on memory, emotion and identity. Alongside this, she is conducting community-based research in Istanbul and Athens relating to people’s understandings, memories and engagements with the Land Walls of Constantinople/Istanbul.

Bernt Brendemoen is a professor of Turcology at Oslo University, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages. His work has focused on Turkish dialectology and historical linguistics. He has written a monography on the Turkish dialects of the Eastern Black Sea Coast of Turkey: The Turkish Dialects of Trabzon: Their Phonology and Historical Development (2 vols., Harrassowitz, 2002), and numerous articles on linguistic matters. He has translated five of Orhan Pamuk’s novels into Norwegian and has written several articles on Pamuk’s authorship.

Malene Vest Hansen has a PhD in art history, and is associate professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. Her main research and teaching areas are contemporary art and museology, with a focus on exhibition analyses and curatorial themes. She is co-founder of the international and interdisciplinary Research Network for Studies in the Curatorial. Among her publications are Sophie Calle: Identitetsbilleder og social arkæolog [Sophie Calle: Pictures of identity and social archaeology], 2002, and the edited anthologies Kuratering af samtidskunst [Curating contemporary art], 2011, and the forthcoming Curatorial Challenges.

Mari Lending is a professor of architectural history and theory at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Lending has published widely on literature, architecture and art, and her latest books are Plaster Monuments: Architecture and the Power of Reproduction (Princeton University Press, 2017), and, with Peter Zumthor, a Feeling of History (Zürich: Scheidegger&Spiess, 2017).

Selene Wendt is an independent curator, writer, and founder of The Global Art Project, which was created to promote international contemporary art across geographical borders. She has a Master’s degree in Art History from The University of Chicago and was Chief Curator at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and Director and Chief Curator at The Stenersen Museum. She has curated many international exhibitions, each with accompanying publications. Most recent projects and exhibitions include Orhan Pamuk: The Art of Fiction for The Museum of Cultural History, Oslo; The Art of Storytelling for Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Most recent essays include The Koran in Contemporary Art for the Norwegian journal Samtiden, and The Stories That Need to Be Told: 56th Venice Biennale for the current issue of NKA Journal of Contemporary African Art.

Christopher Whitehead is Professor of Museology at Newcastle University and Professor II at the University of Oslo. He trained and worked as an art historian and art curator. His books include The National Art Museum in 19th-Century Art Britain (2005), Museums and the Construction of Disciplines (2009), Interpreting Art in Museums and Galleries (2011), Placing Migration in European Museums (2012) and Museums, Migration and Identity in Europe (2015). He is currently the co-ordinator of two large-scale international projects. These are CoHERE: Critical Heritages, Performing and Representing Identities in Europe and Plural Heritages of Istanbul, and is part of the scientific committee for the 2017 International Museum Day theme: ‘Museums and Contested Histories: saying the unspeakable in museums’.

Abstracts to be announced by 15 August

Publisert 13. juni 2017 16:11 - Sist endret 7. juli 2017 08:59