press release

Historically, Antakya has been one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire and Byzantium and an important centre for the history of the Christian Church and the rise of Islam. Throughout its history, Antakya has always been a cosmopolitan city where different ethnicities, religions and languages coexist and today both Arabic and Turkish are spoken.

Contemporary Antakya is a wealthy city in a process of fast development. Its historical and geographic connections to Syria have been recently reinforced by the visa exemption agreement between Turkey and Syria. With the increase of tourism, Antakya begins to undergo the same processes of urbanisation, gentrification and gradual increase of control of the public space that has advanced with varying speed and degree elsewhere.

The title Thank you for your understanding is borrowed from a work by artist Simon Kentgens, which will be shown in the Biennial. It refers to the signs we often see in the city, when public or private interventions obstruct our common spaces. In the context of Antakya, Thank you for your understanding is an effort for finding a common ground on which we can stand as public—both in the exhibition and in the city.

Today, our world remains fragmented and our individual efforts dispersed behind the unifying façade of globalization. Discovering what could be truly common means finding solidarities and shared sensibilities that are not based on the reigning form of universality today: capitalism. The biennial experiments with its own form as a global, temporary, exportable structure in search for a possible common space, a commonality beyond the market.

Thank you for your understanding is an attempt to create intersections between the biennial format and the city as the spatial model of the way society is organized and functions today. Following David Harvey, we claim that the question of what kind of city we want cannot be separated from what kind of people we want to be and what kind of social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles, technologies and aesthetic values we desire.

More than 40 artists address these questions in Antakya, many with site-specific works, performances and public space interventions. To acknowledge the importance of the relationship between the biennial and the city, the curators have included among the artists the names of local people who have creatively participated in the artistic projects.

15 October – 20 November 2010 Antakya, Turkey

Organized by: Antakya Academy Association

Venues: Antim Business Center, Zet Gallery, various public spaces

Curators: Arzu Yayıntaş and Dessislava Dimova

only in german

The 2nd International Antakya Biennial
Kuratoren: : Arzu Yayintas, Dessislava Dimova

Künstler: A77 , Adalet Akbas, Muhammad Ali, Burak Arikan, Ufuk Atilla, Vartan Avakian, Nisrine Boukhari, Pierre Bismuth, Hakan Bitmez, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Mediha Coban, Rana Cuhadaroglu, Derman Dagli, Burak Delier, Hülya Dolas, Hülya Dönmez, Natalya Dyu, Isil Egrikavuk, Volkan Eray, Mehmet Fahraci, Emel Sikar Genc, Nadi Guler & M. Hasan Demirci, Cyprien Gaillard, Emrah Gökdemir, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Sanja Ivekovic, Nezihe Karakaya, Simon Kentgens, Ilker Kocadag, Daniela Kostova, Cüneyt Kurt, Ghassan Maasri, Renzo Martens, Ivan Moudov, Vesselina Nikolaeva, Bora Petkova, Ferhat Özgür, Larissa Sansour, Bastiaan Schevers, Mary Hyunhee Song, Emel Sökmen, Fatih Tan, Kezban Tatli, Sevgi Tatli, Günes Terkol, Varol Topac, Issa Touma, Tugay Ugurlu- Macide Yalcinkaya & Zehra Güzel, Fadi Yazigi, Ediz Yenmis, Ela Yilmaz, Sevcan Yilmaz, Nalan Yirtmac, Belkiz Gönül Yorulmaz