Home Magazine The Seventh Continent of this 16th Istanbul Biennial

While most of the European critics are still focused on the 58th Venice Biennale, in the Middle East part of the world, are taking place the preparations for this 16th Istanbul Biennial, the most comprehensive international Turkish Art Exhibition... 

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, the biennial titled "The Seventh Continent", will be held from 14 September to 10 November 2019 in three spectacular locations across the city: the historic Istanbul Shipyards (Tersane Istanbul), the Pera Museum in the heart of the city and in a series of historic sites in Büyükada, the largest of the so-called Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara. 

We already looked at new investments in art and culture in the Middle East, read more on -->  Contemporary Art in the United Arab Emirates

As the most comprehensive international art exhibition in the region, the Istanbul Biennial plays an important role in the promotion of contemporary artists from Turkey and the international arena. Indeed, this year 38 new commissions will be dispersed in multiple locations around the city together with 57 artists and art collectives from 26 countries (Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK and USA). Stay up to date on the most important art events of this 2019 --> Kooness - Exhibitions & Events


Orhan Pamuk, Balkon, Steidl 2018


Harita. Courtesy 16th Istanbul Biennial



The Seventh Continent is an anthropology of an off-centered world and an archaeology of our times. It defines today’s art as an archipelago of diverse enquiries into global life, tracking the prints of human activity on the earth and our impact on its non-human inhabitants. One of the most visible effects of the Anthropocene, the new geological era characterised by the impact of human activities upon the planet, is the formation of a huge mass of waste that has been called "The Seventh Continent"—3.4 million square kilometres, 7 million tons of floating plastic in the Pacific Ocean. The 16th Istanbul Biennial will explore this new continent: a world where humans and non-humans, our mass-productive systems and natural elements, drift together, reduced to particles of waste. The Anthropocene theory has contributed to this awareness, as the impact of human activities on nature generates an intertwined world where culture is reintegrating into nature, and vice-versa. Meanwhile, due to the increasing interconnections between cultures, as well as the development of transportation and migratory flows, the old centres are turning into megapolises sheltering a multitude of micro-cultures. Read more on e-flux...

Pia Arke, Untitled, collage, 1999, part of series Legende I-V. Courtesy Søren Arke Petersen. 

Bourriaud, one of the co-founders of Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and current director of the Montpellier Contemporain, stated: “I am very honoured to be able to contribute to the history of Istanbul Biennial, which has always been a place of strong curatorial statements since its creation in 1987. Also, as a crossing point, the city of Istanbul takes a specific signification today, in a global political era marked by binary thought. I will try to build an exhibition that measures up to our historical situation.”


16th Istanbul Biennial. Nicolas Bourriaud. Photo by Muhsin Akgun


Istanbul Biennial’s Advisory Board commented on Bourriaud: “Nicolas Bourriaud’s research embracing the idea of multiverse is vital for the thoughtful minds of today. We strongly believe that Nicolas will develop an intriguing exhibition considering his esteemed curatorial and theoretical practice, his in-depth academic studies as well has his long term collaborations with artists and active engagement with new generations. 16th Istanbul Biennial, under the curatorship of Nicolas Bourriaud, will celebrate and embrace the possibilities of transdisciplinary collaboration through the exhibition and its public programmes which will bring together artists and specialists living and producing in different parts of the globe.”


16th Istanbul Biennial. Bige Örer - Nicolas Bourriaud. Photo by Ilgin Erarslan Yanmaz



At Istanbul Shipyards (Tersane Istanbul): Yuji Agematsu (Born in Kanagawa, lives in New York); Deniz Aktaş (Born in Diyarbakır, lives in Diyarbakır); Özlem Altın (Born in Goch, lives in Berlin); Jonathas de Andrade (Born in Maceió, lives in Recife); Pia Arke (Born in Ittoqqortoormiit, died in Copenhagen); Korakrit Arunanondchai (Born in Bangkok, lives in New York and Bangkok); Ozan Atalan (Born in Çanakkale, lives in Izmir); Radcliffe Bailey (Born in New Jersey, lives in Georgia); Rebecca Belmore (Born in Uppsala, lives in Toronto); Dora Budor (Born in Zagreb, lives in New York); Johannes Büttner (Born in Frankfurt am Main, lives in Amsterdam); Mariechen Danz (Born in Dublin, lives in Berlin); Elmas Deniz (Born in Izmir, lives in Istanbul); David Douard (Born in Perpignan, lives in Paris); Simon Fujiwara (Born in London, lives in Berlin); Claudia Martínez Garay (Born in Ayacucho, lives in Amsterdam); Pakui Hardware [Ugnius Gelguda & Neringa Černiauskaitė] (Born in Vilnius and Klaipėda, live in Berlin and Vilnius); Eloise Hawser (Born in London, lives in London); Marguerite Humeau (Born in Cholet, lives in London); Suzanne Husky (Born in Bazas, lives in San Francisco); Rashid Johnson (Born in Chicago, lives in New York); Feral Atlas Collective (Living in different cities around the world); Eva Kot'átková (Born in Prague, lives in Prague); Agnieszka Kurant (Born in Łódź, lives in New York); Tala Madani (Born in Tehran, lives in Los Angeles); Jared Madere (Born in New York, lives in Los Angeles); Turiya Magadlela (Born in Johannesburg, lives in Johannesburg); Güneş Terkol (Born in Ankara, lives in Istanbul) & Güçlü Öztekin (Born in Eskişehir, lives in Istanbul); Thiago Rocha Pitta (Born in Tiradentes, lives in Petropolis and São Paulo); Mika Rottenberg (Born in Buenos Aires, lives in New York); Max Hooper Schneider (Born in Los Angeles, lives in Los Angeles); Ylva Snöfrid (Born in Umeå, lives in Athens and Stockholm); Jennifer Tee (Born in Arnhem, lives in Amsterdam); Suzanne Treister (Born in London, lives in London); Ambera Wellmann (Born in Lunenburg, lives in Berlin); Haegue Yang (Born in Seoul, lives in Seoul and Berlin); Müge Yılmaz (Born in Istanbul, lives in Amsterdam); Phillip Zach (Born in Cottbus, lives in Los Angeles); Andrea Zittel (Born in Escondido, lives in California). 

At the Pera Museum: Anzo [José Iranzo Almonacid] (Born in Utiel, died in Valencia); Charles Avery (Born in Oban, lives in London and Mull); Norman Daly (Born in Pittsburgh, died in New York); Ernst Haeckel (Born in Potsdam, died in Jena); Evru/Zush (Born in Barcelona, lives in Barcelona); Sanam Khatibi (Born in Tehran, lives in Brussels); Melvin Moti (Born in Rotterdam, lives in Rotterdam); Glauco Rodrigues (Born in Bage, died in Rio de Janeiro); Luigi Serafini (Born in Roma, lives in Roma and Milan); Paul Sietsema (Born in Los Angeles, lives in Los Angeles); Simon Starling (Born in Epsom, lives in Copenhagen); Piotr Uklański (Born in Warsaw, lives in New York and Warsaw). 

At Büyükada: En Man Chang (Born in Taitung, lives in Taipei); Glenn Ligon (Born in New York, lives in New York); Armin Linke (Born in Milan, lives in Berlin); Ursula Mayer (Born in Ried im Innkreis, lives in London and Vienna); Hale Tenger (Born in Izmir, lives in Istanbul). For all the latest news about this 16th Biennial, take a glance to the Biennal Foundation online - magazine

Cover images: Orhan Pamuk, Balkon, Steidl 2018 - The Seventh Continent. 


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