press release

15th Istanbul Biennial
a good neighbour
September 16–November 12, 2017
Media preview: September 12–13
Professional preview: September 14–15

The 15th Istanbul Biennial, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Koç Holding will take place between September 16 and November 12, 2017. The 15th edition of the biennial will be curated by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset.

Elmgreen & Dragset stated, "We are honored to be appointed curators of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, having previously taken part as artists in three editions of the biennial. In light of the current global geopolitical situation, in which we're experiencing a new rise of nationalism, it will be important for us to curate a biennial based on collaborative efforts and processes. Collaboration is something that feels natural to us, since we have been working together as an artist duo for more than 20 years. A biennial can be a platform for dialogue, and a format in which diverse opinions, perspectives, and communities can coexist."

Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen, dr.h.c. and Ingar Dragset, dr.h.c.) are an artist duo who have worked together since 1995. Their artistic practice spans many genres, including installation, sculpture, performance, and theater. 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 at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2015.

Previous curatorial projects include The Collectors at the Danish and Nordic Pavilions at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, marking the first-ever merging of two national pavilions to present a single exhibition, which received a Special Mention entitled "Curating Worlds." In 2013, the duo curated A Space Called Public, a wide-ranging temporary public art project throughout the city of Munich. The same year, with their exhibition Tomorrow at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the artists designed a setting in which they staged paintings, furniture, and artifacts from the museum's permanent collection. Earlier curatorial projects include Not a Drop But the Fall, together with Susanne Pfeffer, Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany (2005) and Update, a performance-based festival that was part of Copenhagen's European Capitals of Culture program (1996). The artists are currently in the process of curating the exhibition The Others, opening at König Galerie in Berlin in September 2016.

Elmgreen & Dragset's recent solo exhibitions include Van Gogh's Ear (Public Art Fund, New York, 2016); The Well Fair (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2016); and Aéroport Mille Plateaux (PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, 2015). Additionally, Elmgreen & Dragset have held numerous solo exhibitions in art institutions worldwide, including the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (2014); Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2014); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2011); ZKM Museum of Modern Art, Karlsruhe, Germany (2010); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (2009); The Power Plant, Toronto (2006); Serpentine Gallery, London (2006); Tate Modern, London (2004); and Kunsthalle Zürich (2001).

The Istanbul Biennial advisory board members include Adriano Pedrosa, Başak Şenova, İnci Eviner, Iwona Blazwick, and Ute Meta Bauer.

The 15th Istanbul Biennial is organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Koç Holding and other supporters, international funders, and funding bodies to be announced.

The conceptual framework of the 15th Istanbul Biennial will be announced at a press meeting to be held in fall 2016. The media preview of the biennial will be on September 13, and the professional preview on September 14 and 15, 2017.


The 15th Istanbul Biennial, entitled a good neighbour and curated by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, reveals the participating artists of this year’s edition, which takes place from September 16 to November 12, 2017. Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Koç Holding, the 15th Istanbul Biennial brings together artworks by 55 artists from 32 countries, all addressing different notions of home, belonging and neighbourhood.

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
Yoğunluk (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)