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The 16th Istanbul Biennial opens this Saturday with "The Seventh Continent" in Four Major Venues
Turkey Architecture News - Sep 9, 2019 - 06:58 2493 views
The 16th Istanbul Biennial, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) and sponsored by Koç Holding, will open this Saturday, September 14 to the public in four major venues, including Antrepo 5 – Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum (designed by EAA and set to open in 2020), Pera Museum, Büyükada and Maçka Sanat Park.
Themed as "The Seventh Continent", the Biennial is curated by French curator and art critic Nicolas Bourriaud and directed by Bige Örer, an initiator and facilitator of exhibitions and artistic projects. The 16th Istanbul Biennial can be visited until November 10, 2019.
The Seventh Continent will explore the mixed and complex versions of our environment in which we are not aware of while we are creating it.
Image courtesy of IKSV
"The title of the 16th Istanbul Biennial sounds like the title of a movie, so strong is the image conjured up by The Seventh Continent. As many people know, this term refers to a gigantic mass of plastic waste that now covers no less than 3.4 million square kilometres of our oceans – that is almost five times the area of Turkey. It is a new world, made up of debris," said Nicolas Bourriaud.
"But unlike that other ‘New World’ discovered by Christopher Columbus, it is one that we ourselves have created, without even being aware that we were doing it. And what we have created is exactly what we did not want. A continent composed of everything we have rejected, it is the ultimate symbol of the Anthropocene era1 .
Bige Örer and Nicolas Bourriaud. Image © Ilgın Erarslan Yanmaz
"Of all those billions of bits of detritus, some are still recognisable objects, while others are broken down into no more than molecules. Living among them are plants and animals, while all around is the water and geology of the ocean. The Seventh Continent is an incredibly mixed and complex environment," the curator added.
"In planning the Biennial, I recognised the parallel between that world and our own world, where accepted norms and cultures have also fragmented, almost down to a cellular level. Things are changing fast. We are in a time when, as part of that fracturing, or perhaps to counter it, countries around the globe are experiencing a surge in nationalism. There are no centres, no monolithic ways of thinking any more, just a kind of archipelago of disparate thoughts."
Anzo. Aislamiento 14, 1968, Oil on canvas, 100x100 cm, courtesy of Amparo Iranzo.
Nicolas Bourriaud and Bige Örer have invited artists from 25 countries to take on the exploration of our new "decentred" world, our Seventh Continent. They will be its anthropologists, if you like, and the work of every artist exhibiting in the Biennial will refer in some way to this aim.
"Now, more than ever, the artist must be recognised as the absolute other, a person who does not depend on what exists or what is accepted, but stands separate. Artists can show us what we have created, unaware. They are tribal representatives who modify and reinvent their cultures, and create new ones," explained Bourriaud.
Haegue Yang- The Intermediate-Occitanian Vagabond, 2018-Powder-coated steel stand and metal grid, casters, plastic twine, jute twine, fabric samples, pom-pom, metal rings and grommets-191x75x70 cm-Commissioned by La Panacee-MO.CO-Courtesy of the artist. Photo © Marc Domage, La Panacee-MO.CO
The artists exhibiting at the 16th Istanbul Biennial are: Deniz Aktaş, Özlem Altın, Jonathas de Andrade, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Ozan Atalan, Radcliffe Bailey, Rebecca Belmore, Dora Budor, Johannes Büttner, En Man Chang, Mariechen Danz, Elmas Deniz, David Douard, Simon Fujiwara, Claudia Martínez Garay, Pakui Hardware (Ugnius Gelguda & Neringa Černiauskaitė), Eloise Hawser, Marguerite Humeau, Suzanne Husky, Rashid Johnson, Feral Atlas Collective, Eva Kot'átková, Agnieszka Kurant, Tala Madani, Jared Madere, Turiya Magadlela, Güneş Terkol & Güçlü Öztekin, Mika Rottenberg, Max Hooper Schneider, Ylva Snöfrid, Jennifer Tee, Suzanne Treister, Ambera Wellmann, Haegue Yang, Müge Yılmaz, Phillip Zach.
Evru/Zush, El Planeta de les quatre IIunas (The Planet of Four Moons), 2012-2014, Mixed media on paper, 130x156cm, courtesy of the artist.
The Istanbul Biennial, launched in 1987 by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), has become a fixture on the international contemporary art map and gained a reputation for its experimental and unique character. The Biennial formed a platform of interaction involving the Biennial itself, the contemporary art scene in Istanbul, and the international art community.
YIva Snofrid, 2017, Transfromation Ritual, with Mirrored Spring, Snöfrid et les contre espaces, the Oracle and Tondo (group show curated by Nicolas Bourriaud at La Panecee, Montpellier).
"The Biennial has served as a dynamic plane of interaction, a meeting point, and a critical site for the development of new aesthetic and political visions," said Big Örer, Director of the Istanbul Biennial.
"In a period of increasingly rapid communication and sharing of experiences, the Biennial has become the main hub in Istanbul for the introduction, debate, and assessment of current paradigms in both the theory and practice of local, international, and transnational contemporary art."
Pera Museum, courtesy of IKSV
Antrepo 5 - Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum, is one of the newest venues of the Istanbul Biennial added to the Biennial Agenda. The building, designed by Emre Arolat Architecture, is located on a prime site on the waterfront in the Tophane district of central Istanbul, Antrepo 5 is a former warehouse with a built area of 17,700 square metres.
MSGSÜ, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum, by EAA-Emre Arolat Architecture. Image © Alper Tuzunoglu
Over the last eight years, the building has been undergoing a transformation into a museum for the painting and sculpture collection of the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum, which is due to open to the public in 2020.
Venue map. Image courtesy of IKSV
Top image: Phillip Zach, Double Mouthed, 2019, Multichannel video and sound installation, courtesy of Phillip Zach.
1. The name given to what many perceive as a new geological epoch, in which man’s influence is changing the planet itself.
> via Istanbul Biennial