15th Istanbul Biennial

Various Locations, Istanbul, Turkey
16 Sep 2017 - 12 Nov 2017

Olaf Metzel, 15th Istanbul Biennial. Photo by: Sahir Ugur Eren

Olaf Metzel, 15th Istanbul Biennial. Photo by: Sahir Ugur Eren

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Koç Holding, the 15th Istanbul Biennial, entitled a good neighbour will take place between 16 September and 12 November 2017 at six venues around the city.

‘a good neighbour’ will deal with multiple notions of home and neighbourhoods, exploring how living modes in our private spheres have changed throughout the past decades. Home is approached as an indicator of diverse identities and a vehicle for self-expression, and neighbourhood as a micro-universe exemplifying some of the challenges we face in terms of co-existence today.”, so the curators Elmgreen & Dragset. “Your neighbour might be someone who lives quite a different life from yours. And hopefully you, unlike many politicians lately, are not the one who chooses to deal with your fear of otherness by fencing yourself off. The artists in the 15th Istanbul Biennial raise questions about ideas of home, neighbourhood, belonging and co-existence from multiple perspectives.“

„The Biennial takes its form from the invited artists’ personal or analytical statements: an engaging mixture of hopes and visions, of sadness and indignation, of history and present day.” Elmgreen & Dragset add.

The preview of the 15th Istanbul Biennial will be on 13 September (media only) and 14-15 September 2017 (media and art professionals). The biennial will take place in different venues throughout the city and, in addition to the exhibition, will include a series of performative interventions as well as a film and public programme. The 15th Istanbul Biennial is made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Koç Holding and with the further patronage of a number of other supporters, international funders, and funding bodies to be announced. The Istanbul Biennial advisory board members include Adriano Pedrosa, Başak Şenova, İnci Eviner, Iwona Blazwick and Ute Meta Bauer.

Michael Elmgreen, dr.h.c. and Ingar Dragset, dr.h.c. have worked together as an artist duo since 1995. Their practice spans many genres, including installation, sculpture, performance, and theatre. Their work has been included in the Istanbul (2013, 2011, 2001), Liverpool (2012), Singapore (2011), Moscow (2011, 2007), Venice (2009, 2003), Gwangju (2006, 2002), São Paulo (2002), and Berlin (1998) biennials. The artists were shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize, Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2000 and won the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin in 2002. In 2012, Elmgreen & Dragset were selected for London’s Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square. They were awarded honorary doctorates by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2015.

Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) is a non-profit cultural institution that was founded in 1973. The general objectives of the Foundation are to make Istanbul one of the world’s foremost capitals of culture and the arts; to create continuous interaction between national and universal values and traditional and contemporary values via culture and the arts; and to contribute actively to the development of cultural policies. With these objectives, İKSV organises the Istanbul Festivals of Music, Film, Theatre and Jazz, as well as the Istanbul Biennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, autumn film week Filmekimi and one-off events throughout the year. The Foundation hosts cultural and artistic events at its performance venue Salon, located at the Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building. İKSV also organises the Pavilion of Turkey at La Biennale di Venezia and coordinates an artist residency programme at Cité International des Arts, France. Furthermore, İKSV conducts studies and drafts reports with the aim of contributing to cultural policy development. The foundation also supports artistic and cultural production through presenting awards at its festivals, commissioning works and taking part in international and local co-productions.

In addition to the two-month-long exhibition, the 15th Istanbul Biennial also features a Public Programme coordinated by artist Zeyno Pekünlü that encompasses a variety of events and discussions related to the concept of “a good neighbour”. With panel discussions, screenings, workshops and regular events throughout the Biennial, participants can be found cooking, reading and playing music together. Admission to all Public Programme events is free.


List of artists

Galata Greek Primary School
Heba Y. Amin
(Born in Cairo, lives in Berlin); Mark Dion (Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, lives in New York, NY); Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe (Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Dayton, Ohio, both live in New York, NY); Kasia Fudakowski (Born in London, lives in Berlin); Pedro Gómez-Egaña (Born in Bucaramanga, lives between Bergen and Copenhagen); Lungiswa Gqunta (Born in Port Elizabeth, lives in Cape Town); Andrea Joyce Heimer (Born in Great Falls, Montana, lives in Ferndale, Washington); Morag Keil & Georgie Nettell (Born in Edinburgh and Bedford, both live in London); Olaf Metzel (Born in Berlin, lives in Munich); Mahmoud Obaidi (Born in Baghdad, lives in Burlington, Ontario); Henrik Olesen (Born in Esbjerg, lives in Berlin); Erkan Özgen (Born in Mardin, lives in Diyarbakır); Leander Schönweger (Born in Meran, lives in Vienna); Dan Stockholm (Born in Thisted, lives in Copenhagen); Ali Taptık (Born in Istanbul, lives in Istanbul); Bilal Yılmaz (Born in Manisa, lives in Istanbul)

Istanbul Modern
Volkan Aslan
(Born in Ankara, lives in Istanbul); Alper Aydın (Born in Ordu, lives between Ordu, Ankara, Konya, and Istanbul); Monica Bonvicini (Born in Venice, lives in Berlin); Louise Bourgeois (Born in Paris, died in New York, NY); Latifa Echakhch (Born in El Khnansa, lives in Martigny); Candeğer Furtun (Born in Istanbul, lives in Istanbul); Kim Heecheon (Born in Seoul, lives in Seoul); Mirak Jamal (Born in Tehran, lives in Berlin); Fernando Lanhas (Born in Porto, died in Porto); Victor Leguy (Born in São Paulo, lives in São Paulo); Klara Lidén (Born in Stockholm, lives in Berlin); Mahmoud Obaidi (Born in Baghdad, lives in Burlington, Ontario); Lydia Ourahmane (Born in Saida, lives in Oran and London); Rayyane Tabet (Born in Ashquot, lives in Beirut); Young-Jun Tak (Born in Seoul, lives in Berlin); Kaari Upson (Born in San Bernadino, California, lives in Los Angeles, California); Kemang Wa Lehulere (Born in Cape Town, lives in Cape Town); Yonamine (Born in Luanda, lives in Harare); Xiao Yu (Born in Inner Mongolia, lives in Beijing)

ARK Kültür
Mahmoud Khaled
(Born in Alexandria, lives in Trondheim)

Pera Museum
Adel Abdessemed
(Born in Constantine, lives in London); Njideka Akunyili Crosby (Born in Enugu, lives in Los Angeles, California); Alejandro Almanza Pereda (Born in Mexico City, lives in Guadalajara); Berlinde De Bruyckere (Born in Ghent, lives in Ghent); Vajiko Chachkhiani (Born in Tbilisi, lives in Berlin); Gözde İlkin (Born in Istanbul, lives in Istanbul); Liliana Maresca (Born in Buenos Aires, died in Buenos Aires); Lee Miller (Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, died in Chiddingly, East Sussex); Aude Pariset (Born in Versailles, lives in Berlin); Sim Chi Yin (Born in Singapore, lives in Beijing); Dayanita Singh (Born in New Delhi, lives in New Delhi); Tatiana Trouvé (Born in Cosenza, lives in Paris); Tsang Kinwah (Born in Shantou, lives in Hong Kong); Andra Ursuta (Born in Salonta, lives in New York, NY); Fred Wilson (Born in New York, NY, lives in New York, NY)

Yoğunluk Atelier
(Founded in Istanbul, live in Istanbul)

Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam
Monica Bonvicini
(Born in Venice, lives in Berlin); Stephen G. Rhodes (Born in Houston, Texas, lives in Berlin); Tuğçe Tuna (Born in Mons, lives in Istanbul)

Outside all venues
Burçak Bingöl
(Born in Giresun, lives in Istanbul); Lukas Wassmann (Born in Zurich, lives in Berlin)



15th Istanbul Biennial
a good neighbour
September 16–November 12, 2017

Media preview: September 12–13
Professional preview: September 14–15


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More details on the 15th Istanbul Biennial  can be accessed at bienal.iksv.org/en.


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