15th Istanbul Biennial to kick off across six venues
The 15th Istanbul Biennial, titled “A Good Neighbor” and curated by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, will take place from Sept. 16 to Nov 12.
The biennial will be located in the heart of Istanbul, and can be visited free of charge at six venues within walking distance of each other.
Bringing together a variety of artworks dealing with different notions of home and neighborhood, the biennial exhibitions will take place at Istanbul Modern, the Galata Greek Primary School, Ark Kültür, the Pera Museum, an artist collective’s studio, and the Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam.
The public program of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, coordinated by Zeyno Pekünlü, will kick off during the opening days of the Biennial. In addition to symposia during the opening and closing week, there will be periodic events in which the audience will cook, read, and make music, as well as discussions, debates and workshops around the central theme of the biennial.
Instead of a curatorial statement, the curators have developed 40 questions that guide the process of making the exhibition. These questions were first presented live in Istanbul by 40 performers of different ages, genders and backgrounds in December last year.
Some of these questions, such as “Is a good neighbor a stranger you don’t fear?” and “Is a good neighbor someone who reads the same newspaper as you?” are being used for an international billboard project presented in several cities around the world.
Two works already on display
The two works from the biennial, Alejandro Almanza Pereda’s work and Burçak Bingöl’s ceramic cameras, can already be viewed.
Mexican artist Pereda’s work at the Pera Museum is one of the landscape paintings that the he found from flea shops in Istanbul and covered with concrete.
It is placed within the permanent collection of the Pera Museum and opened to visits a month before the opening of the biennial.
A painting from the Orientalist Painting Collection of the Museum was replaced with the new piece from Pereda’s series, Horror Vacui, which he has been working on since 2010. Two more works from the series will be exhibited at the biennial.
One of the works on display at public spaces at the 15th Istanbul Biennial belongs to Bingöl, an artist known for using ceramics and ornamentation in her works. The artist makes a critical interpretation of the surveillance culture of our day by ornamenting the surveillance cameras, which have gradually become one of the common sights of cities over the last 10 years, with plant patterns she collected from Beyoğlu.
By placing the ceramic cameras around the city, Bingöl takes these panoptic gadgets that spy on us and makes them into observable objects of art.
Bingöl’s cameras can be seen during the biennial at over 20 locations, including Kumbaracı 50, the Pera Museum, Şimdi Café, LeBon Patisserie and Istanbul Modern.