Friday, February 05, 2010

'The 10th Istanbul Biennale', 2007

Not Only Possible But Also Neccesary:
Optimism In The Age Of Global War

Not Only Possible But Also Neccesary:
Optimism In The Age Of Global War

Curator: Hou Hanru

September 8 - November 4, 2007
Professional Preview: September 6 - 7, 2007
Press Conference: September 6, 2007

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, the 10th International Istanbul Biennial will not be a conventional thematic exhibition, rather; it will emphasise artistic production based on collective intelligence and the living process of negotiating with physical sites. The Biennial will focus on urban issues and architectural reality as a means of exposing different cultural contexts and artistic visions regarding the complex and diverse forms of modernity.

More than 100 artists and artist groups from 35 different countries will exhibit more than 150 projects throughout the 10th International Istanbul Biennial.

10th International Istanbul Biennial will explore the venues through titles implying the venues' role in Istanbul's political, economic and social aspects of its modernisation process.

"Burn It or Not?", Atatürk Cultural Centre, Taksim
A leading example of the Republican Period Architecture and a symbol of the Taksim Square, the heart of Istanbul, the AKM Building serves as a major element of the city's cultural and political memory. Obviously, this modernist edifice incarnates the ideological model of Turkey's modernization driven by its republican revolutionary project. However, today it is under the threat of being gentrified by global capitalism's expansion. Through using this building as an important venue for the Biennial with an exhibition focusing on the question of utopia and its fate all around the world; questions of social progress, modernization and democracy, etc. in the current conditions of globalization will be raised and debated.

"World Factory", Istanbul Textile Traders' Market, Unkapani
The Istanbul Textile Traders' Market, buit in the 60s consists of six blocks which accommodate approximately a thousand shops. This intelligently designed vernacular modernist building, explored by its users in an organic and self-organizational manner, shows an interesting and peculiar case of how local economic activities with a modern vision bring a vital element to contribute to the urban evolution. And it's a perfect site for the project "World Factory" that manifests the reality and strategies of the negotiation between developed and developing worlds in terms of different models of production, consumption and economic development in the age of globalization and geopolitical conflicts.

"Entre-polis" and "Dream House", Antrepo no.3, Tophane
Old customs warehouses located on the Bosporus near Tophane were used for the 4th, 8th and 9th Istanbul Biennials. This particular location, function and architectural identity allow a highly complex project to grow from within: two exhibitions will be realized in two overlapping structures. An "Entre-polis", dealing with issues of global trading, migration, border crossing and their impacts on urban life will be constructed in a labyrinth-like street-square-street micro-urban structure. Above this micro-city, there will be a series of high-rise platforms opening only in the evenings. They are "Dream Houses" that welcome people to stay and discover some most unexpected elements of the Biennial, and enjoy Istanbul by night from an unusual angle.

Special Projects


nightcomers is one of the night programme projects of the 10th International Istanbul Biennial and is based on the concept of "dazibao", used by Hou Hanru in reference to wall-mounted posters of political criticism produced by the public during the Chinese Revolution. Videos will be shown throughout the night in the streets, and the target is to reach a bigger audience than the Istanbul Biennial does in the daytime. The video programs have been selected by five local curators from the pool of videos sent by general public upon the open call of the Biennial. They will be projected in different parts of the city on certain nights of the week via a specific mobile device. This will bring the Biennial project to different sectors of the city, especially those out of cultural centres.


santralistanbul is a project led by Istanbul Bilgi University, involving the conversion of the first power station built in Istanbul during the Ottoman period -- Silahtaraga Power Plant -- into a Museum of Contemporary Arts, a Museum of Energy and a cultural and educational centre.

santralistanbul will be the one of the sites for special projects focused on self-organisation for the 10th International Istanbul Biennial and will serve as a space of education, workshop and laboratory. Events like international workshops, residency program, a conference and a film program are going to be realized in santralistanbul in collaboration with Istanbul Bilgi University.

Kadiköy Public Education Centre (KAHEM)

KAHEM is situated at the heart of the Asian side of the city. Built as a popular cultural centre as a part of the republican social education and culture project in the 1930s, it is a significant Turkish modernist building undervalued for long time. Organising special projects for the Biennial not only provides a platform for urban and geopolitical emergency, it also offers an opportunity for the public to rediscover such a specific architectural and cultural edifice.

Artist List

Hamra Abbas
Adel Abdessemed
Vahram Aghasyan
Buthayna Ali
Allora Calzadilla
Selçuk Artut
Kutlug Ataman
Fikret Atay
Jonathan Barnbrook
Ramazan Bayrakoglu
Justin Bennett
Ege Berensel - Serhat H. Yalçinkaya - Banu Ornat
Ursula Biemann
Bik Van der Pol
Cao Fei
Banu Cennetoglu
Lia Chaia
Paul Chan
Chen Hui-Chiao
Chen Chieh-Jen
Claire Fontaine
Teddy Cruz
Nancy Davenport
Burak Delier
Atom Egoyan
Idil Elveris - Zeren Göktan
Daniel Faust
Didier Fiuza Faustino
Christoph Fink
Nina Fischer - Maroan El Sani
Vicky Funari - Sergio de la Torre
Bodil Furu - Beate Petersen
Rainer Ganahl
Jean Baptiste Ganne
Renée Green
Ivan Grubanov
Ha Za Vu Zu
Erdem Helvac?oglu
Huang Yong Ping
Emre Hüner
Sanja Ivekovic
Eleni Kamma
Kan Xuan
Ömer Ali Kazma
Ian Kiaer
Sora Kim
Taiyo Kimura
Gunilla Klinberg
Aleksander Komarov
Rem Koolhaas/AMO
Markus Krottendorfer
Lee Bul
Minouk Lim
Lu Chunsheng
Cristina Lucas
Ken Lum
MAP Office
Ramón Mateos
Julio Cesar Morales
Els Opsomer
Ou Ning
Ferhat Özgür
Peng Hung-Chih
Anu Pennanen
Alexandre Périgot
Tadej Pogacar
Julien Prévieux
Radek Community
Michael Rakowitz
Raqs Media Collective
Jewyo Rhii
Porntaweesak Rimsakul
Lordy Rodriguez
Sam Samore
Fernando Sanchez Castillo
Allan Sekula
Taro Shinoda
Sophia Tabatadze
David Ter-Oganyan
Nasan Tur
Katleen Vermeir - Ronny Heiremans
Wong Hoy-Cheong
Xu Zhen
Yan Pei Ming
Yan Lei
Yang Jiechang
Tomoko Yoneda
Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries
Yushi Uehara / Berlage Institute
Zhou Hao - Ji Jianghong
Zhu Jia

Special Projects

Nightcomers (curated by Övül Durmusoglu, Marcus Graf, Borga Kantürk, Pelin Uran, Adnan Yildiz)

Apartment Project
Art Experience (Istanbul Bilgi University / Domus Academy)
Atelier bow-wow
Emergency Biennale in Chechnya
Fiji Biennale Pavilions by Mladen Bizumic
Floating Territories (Evens Foundation)
Innocent Act (studioKAHEM)
Nico Dockx - Kris Delacourt (for Floating Territories)

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