On Wednesday, Somerset House opened its doors to welcome visitors to the new exhibit, The Museum of Innocence. An import from Turkey, it’s based upon the Orhan Pamuk novel and is the physical manifestation of the events of the story. The novel details the unrequited and obsessive love of Kemal Bey for his twice removed cousin Füsan. It’s an ill-fated love that consumes Kemal and after her death, this obsession results in the production of a museum devoted to Füsan.
The exhibition is two small rooms; one with 13 vitrines of the everyday objects that represent moments shared between the two and the other has manuscripts of the book and an explanatory video by the author. The entrance into the exhibition is lined by screens, which show moving shots of Istanbul’s streets. The intricacies of the exhibition are remarkable and the films, which map the wanderings by the protagonists of the capital’s streets, add authenticity. It is a beautifully delicate and precise exhibition that would have taken a long time to produce, which in itself is commendable. Leaving the Museum of Innocence, I felt an urge to read the novel and return to the exhibition to have a full appreciation of it.
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