Istanbul Biennial to open on the weekend

Istanbul Biennial to open on the weekend

Istanbul Biennial to open on the weekend

Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV ) and curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Amar Kanwar and David Teh, the 17th Istanbul Biennial will open to the public on Sept. 17, bringing together people and processes in a gathering of more than 50 projects, each the fruit of long-term research and collaboration.

At a press gathering held in Zeytinburnu Medicinal Plants Garden on Sept. 13, İKSV Chairperson Bülent Eczacıbaşı said, “We create opportunities for interaction between art professionals and audiences, and work to strengthen our country’s international ties. We organize related events that enrich the biennial and establish platforms for discussion. Through programs for children and youth and children’s books that we distribute free of charge, we strive to develop an appreciation for contemporary art at an early age. By opening our doors free of charge to hundreds of thousands of people, we have removed an important barrier to public access and participation in culture and arts.”

Embracing various encounters in a myriad of forms, from a musical composition for water buffalos and giant puppet shows across the city to a dumpling food festival, research projects on the archives of feminist movements, dialogues with birds, and a poetry channel inviting 15 poets to write a new poem every month for a year, the Biennial is above all an invitation to spend time together, thinking, talking, reading, viewing and listening in public, an invitation to ask questions and question answers.

With its focus on process and participation, the 17th Istanbul Biennial involves over 500 artists, thinkers, writers, poets, puppeteers, researchers, environmentalists, architects, radio hosts, fishermen, buffalo herders, activists, stand-up comedians, conductors, ethnomusicologists, ornithologists and many others, who have contributed to the biennial individually or through collective work with local communities across Istanbul and other parts of Türkiye.

Acting as a host across the city, the 17th Istanbul Biennial spans 12 exhibition venues that are diverse in nature in the Zeytinburnu, Kadıköy, Fatih and Beyoğlu districts, as well as over 50 bookstores, second-hand booksellers, hospitals, cafes and metro stops, disseminating the ideas around which its projects are shaped.

For global audiences, Radyo Bienal has been engaging Turkish-speaking communities with a 25-episode weekly program hosted by Açık Radyo (Open Radio), an independent and egalitarian terrestrial radio channel, as well as featuring an English podcast series that can be listened to on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, with new episodes added every Tuesday.

The biennial will also present a film program, which includes contributions by filmmakers Carlos Casas, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, From Scratch, Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, Anamika Haksar, Heidrun Holzfeind, Les McLaren and Annie Stiven, Payal Kapadia, Ernst Karel and Veronika Kusumaryati, Abbas Kiarostami, Migrant Ecologies Projects, Dennis O’Rourke, Pere Portabella, Lisa Rave, Riar Rizaldi, Marta Rodriguez and Jorge Silva, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, Sriwhana Spong, Hu Tai-li, Nguyễn Trinh Thi and Chikako Yamashiro.

Temporary events take place across Istanbul; film programs will take place at various venues as well as conferences and workshops will happen throughout the duration of the biennial. Further information about these programs can be found on:

The 17th Istanbul Biennial can be visited free of charge through Nov. 20 at all venues.