”Till It’s Gone” at Istanbul MODERN and Joni Mitchell


Since January 16th, Istanbul Modern has been home to a very interesting and rich exhibition on nature and sustainability: Till It’s Gone.

The exhibition undertakes a conceptual research on nature and focuses on ecological issues thanks to striking displays of different artists. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and other form of expressive media interpret the interaction between human beings and ecosystem with a strong emphasis on the concept of sustainability.

Curators Çelenk Bafra and Paolo Colombo describe “Till It’s Gone” as  “the manifestation of a yearning for nature, a livable world and a desire for sustainable ecological balance”.

While visiting “Till It’s Gone”, I came to know that the the exhibition took its name from Joni Mitchell’s song, “Big Yellow Taxi”:

You don’t know what you’ve got

Till it’s gone…

I always loved Joni Mitchell, the Canadian songwriter, and knowing that her words were the starting point for this exhibition, added extra meaning to my day. And hearing the song during my visit, has been quite a surprise, made my day!

And I sang along:

They took all the trees

And put them in a tree museum…


They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot…

Honestly, I remembered the turbulent days of May and June 2013… All those demonstrations and protests… Fight for saving the last trees of the European side of Istanbul… That was the spark!


Well, go and see “Till It’s Gone”.

Sing with Joni Mitchel…

If you go before March 20th, you’ll see Yoko Ono’s installation “Ex It”, with coffins and living olive trees. Very very powerfull…

If you can’t make it till then, still don’t worry, the exhibition will go on until June 5th.