Bosnian biennial hosts Turkish artists

Bosnian biennial hosts Turkish artists

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Bosnian biennial hosts Turkish artists

The biennial, D-0 ARK Underground, is being held this year for the second time in the small town of Konjic.

The second edition of Project Biennial D-¬0 ARK Underground, curated by Başak Şenova and Franko Fransechi, has invited three artists from Turkey, Banu Cennetoğlu, Yasemin Özcan and Emre Erkal, and lasts until Sept. 26.

The biennial, D-0 ARK Underground, which is being held this year for the second time, takes place in Konjic, a small Bosnian town, in an atomic shelter named ARK the Yugoslav army built between 1953 and 1979. This shelter occupies a space of 6,500 meters square and consists of 12 connected blocks. It resembles a complicated labyrinth, with residential areas, conference rooms, offices, and strategic planning rooms.

The construction and existence of this bunker were kept secret until the 1990s, when ARK was finally revealed. ARK was built as a military bunker by the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) to function as the main center for military operations or military command and as the shelter for President Josip Broz Tito, his family and his closest associates in case of war.

Turkey and Croatia are both partners of the second Bosnia and Herzegovina biennial.

According to the written statement, the importance of the project is to preserve and protect cultural heritage and the historical building that was Tito’s atomic shelter, as well as creating new artistic value in that venue. The transformation of the atomic shelter into a prestigious cultural institution is the main purpose of the project.

Regional cooperation

Project Biennial of Contemporary Art D-0 ARK Underground on highest level achieves regional cultural cooperation between the Republic of Serbia, Montenegro, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“In the process of preparing this project, the organizers directed special attention to the mobilization of certain targeted groups. It is undeniable that the interest to visit a nuclear shelter exists within majority of ordinary people. Our goal is to awaken the interest in the younger population for contemporary art. Curiosity exists when visitors come for the tour to the nuclear shelter. We want to take advantage of this facility by offering top quality works of contemporary art and thus be a part of the educational process,” the written statement said.

The exhibition features a work by Cennetoğlu and Özcan called “What is it that you are worried about?” while Erkal created an installation titled “Paleontology of Aspirations.” The Turkish SAHA association provided support for the production of the new works by the artists. Cennetoğlu and Özcan seek the assistance of a non-artistic discipline to measure the energies circulating in the physical space of Facility D-0 in this joint project. The “object” that was built to accommodate and protect 350 people and enable the successful management and leadership of the armed forces in the event of nuclear war will be put through an energy scan by a habitat and human energy rebalancing coach, Zeynep Sevil Güven, who uses synchronically different protocols to reveal the invisible data of a space.

Emre Erkal, in his installation “Paleontology of Aspirations,” seeks an answer to the question “What exists behind the tunnels and walls of the bunker?” This installation is a kind of paleontologic experiment placed within a wooden box and a model made of a series of plexiglass layers.


The attending artists are Adel Abidin, Alban Muja, Alfredo Pirri, Almin Zrno, Apparatus 22 and Studio Basar, Armin Linke, Autopsia, Banu Cennetoğlu and Yasemin Özcan, Brian Dailey, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Carlo Crovato, Conor McGrady, Cynthia Zaven, Dalibor Marinis, Danica Dakic, Daniel Garcia Andujar, Dario Solman, Edin Numankadic, Edo Murtic, Emre Erkal, Ibro Hasanovic, Igor Bosnjak, Janos Sugar, Kim Cascone, Laibach, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Miroslaw Balka, Nenad Malesevic, Nemanja Cvijanovic, Renata Poljak, Paul Devens, Saeri Kiritani, Simona Dumitriu, Stealth.unlimited and Yane Calovski.