Thursday, September 15, 2011

Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011

12th International Istanbul Biennial


The art world's moveable feast takes up residence in Istanbul this week, as the opening of the 12th Istanbul Biennial, Sept. 17-Nov. 13, 2011, corresponds with the launch of a new art fair, Art Beat Istanbul, Sept. 14-18, 2011. Also on the schedule are the inauguration of several new galleries. More here from Artnet.

12th Istanbul Biennial, “Untitled,” 2011

Sept. 17-Nov. 13, 2011

Art and politics is the theme of the 12th Istanbul Biennial, which promises to present artworks that are both formally innovative and politically outspoken. It takes as its point of departure the work of the Cuban American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957–1996), whose work was able to “integrate high modernist, minimal and conceptual references with themes of everyday life.” The festival, which is organized by Jens Hoffmann and Adriano Pedrosa, embraces Gonzalez-Torres’ idea that the world can be made a better place, and that art can be a catalyst for change.

To paraphrase Gonzalez-Torres, the 12th Istanbul Biennial is “Untitled” because meaning is always changing in time and space. The biennial consists of five group exhibitions and more than 50 solo presentations, all housed in a single venue, Antrepo 3 and 5 exhibition halls. Each of the group shows (“Untitled (Abstraction),” “Untitled (Ross),” “Untitled (Passport),” “Untitled (History)” andUntitled (Death by Gun)”) departs from a specific work by Gonzalez-Torres. Visitors are encouraged to become active readers, not just silent recipients.

Participating artists, whose names have still not been officially released, include Eddie Adams, with a rare series of three vintage photographs from Street Execution of a Viet Cong Officer, Saigon, 1968, on loan from Monroe Gallery of Photography. The photographs are featured in the "Untitled (Death by Gun)" exhibition.

Related: The New York Times: A Simplified and Secretive Istanbul Biennial

               The Guardian has compliled a list of 10 of the best modern art galleries in Istanbul and  a slide show: Vintage Istanbul - in pictures.