Istanbul Biennial’s public program begins with talks

Istanbul Biennial’s public program begins with talks

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul Biennial’s public program begins with talks

The program examines the social , cultural impact of Istanbul’s urban transformation and citizens’ reactions to it.

The 13th Istanbul Biennial, titled “Mom, am I a barbarian?,” is set to debut its public program with the event “Making the City Public,” to be held between Feb 8 and 10 at the Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Maçka Campus.

The Biennial will run until November 2013, examining the ways in which the notion of “publicness” can be reclaimed as an artistic and political tool in the context of global financial imperialism and local social fractures. 

The public program, titled “Public Alchemy,” will be held under the co-curatorship of Fulya Erdemci, curator of this year’s biennial, and Dr. Andrea Phillips, reader in fine art and Director of Doctoral Research Programs in Fine Art and Curating at Goldsmiths University of London’s Department of Art. 

The program examines the social and cultural impact of Istanbul’s urban transformation and citizens’ reactions to it. This series of events will question the modus operandi of this transformation and the role of the cultural industries within it. The accessibility of civic space and the rights to the city will also be discussed. Events will include lectures, workshops, seminars, performances, poetry readings, improvisation as well as a tour to northwest Istanbul’s urban transformations, and each cluster of events will focus on one aspect of the current transformations.

Leading names in their respective fields will be participating in the event, including poet Lale Müldür; architect and professor of Public Culture and Urbanism in the Visual Arts Department of the University of California, San Diego and co-founder of the Center for Urban Ecologies, Teddy Cruz; artist, musician and lecturer in ITU’s TM Conservatory and Architecture Faculty, Cevdet Erek; conceptual artist, educational entertainer and urban writer, Christoph Schäfer; development planner and researcher, Yaşar Adnan Adanalı; writer and member of the Association for the Struggle Against Capitalism, Sedat Doğan; academic and member of the Taksim Platform, Betül Tanbay; social scientist and city and regional planner, İlhan Tekeli; and legal advisor and member of the Bir Umut Association, Erbay Yucak.
‘Public Alchemy’
A series of events under five different titles will be organized over the next ten months as part of the 13th Istanbul Biennial public program. Future events include “Public Address,” taking place on March 22 and 23, “Public Capital” on May 10 and 11, “Becoming Public Subjects” on Sept. 14 and 15 and “Future Publics/New Collectives” on Nov. 1 and 2, which will include the participation of artists, architects, planners, activists, poets and musicians.

A “Writing on Art” workshop for emerging art critics will be held throughout the public program, inviting a writers selected from an open call to work with the biennial curatorial team to develop new writings on artistic and curatorial projects. The writings will be published on an online platform leading up to and during the biennial. 

A book titled “Public Alchemy,” including commissioned texts and artistic contributions to the program, will also be published to coincide with the opening of the Biennial. This year’s Istanbul Biennial symposiums focus on a critical challenge in the context of the current economic crisis and how to restore the ethical imperative between individuals, communities and institutions in co-producing the city.