press release

The Conceptual Framework of the 9th International Istanbul Biennial

The conceptual framework of the 9th International I˙stanbul Biennial was announced by the curators Charles Esche and Vasıf Kortun at a press meeting held on Tuesday, October 26th at 17:00 at The Marmara Hotel.

The 9th International I˙stanbul Biennial, organised by the I˙stanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, will open in the city from 16 September to 30 October 2005. For the first time the Biennial will be developed through a working collaboration between the director of Van Abbemuseum, Charles Esche and the Director of Platform Garanti CAC, Vasıf Kortun.

Esche and Kortun are working together on an exhibition structure that folds out of and reveals its context - the city of I˙stanbul. The title of this Biennial is "I˙stanbul", referring both to the real urban location and the imaginative charge that this city represents for the world. "I˙stanbul" as a metaphor, as a prediction, as a lived reality, and an inspiration has many stories to tell and the Biennial will attempt to tap directly into this rich history and possibility.

“Two Continents and Beyond: Waterways” on Vapur “Two Continents and Beyond: Waterways,” led by Renée Vara and Asli Sümer, is the second statement in a series of interventions. Recontextualized around the specific concerns of Turkey, the show repeats guerilla practices on the Bosphorus and investigates the iconic role of the Vapur (the local public ferries) as the nexus of the politics surrounding trade, commerce and environmental resources.

Waterways: what began as a collective happening during the 2005 Venice Biennale now returns as an Official Independent Project of the 9th Istanbul Biennale. This collaborative group of over 30 artists and 7 curators initiated a critical dialogue regarding the relationship between the environment, natural resources and its role in systems of transportation.

The show, installed on one of Istanbul’s largest vapurs, the Aykut Barka, will sail between the historic ports of Besiktas on the European coast and Uskudar on the Asian. The ride provides a conscious pause to actively engage and explore the complex dynamic inherent in the systems of politics and international exchange as it relates to environmental conservation and global warming.

This collaboration of artists and curators represent a collective commentary on such issues and wrestles with the utopian ideal embodied in closed systems and international exchanges of divergent viewpoints.


9th International Istanbul Biennial
Kuratoren: Charles Esche, Vasif Kortun

mit Hüseyin Alptekin, Pawel Althamer, Halil Altindere, Yochai Avrahami, Yael Bartana, Otto Berchem, Johanna Billing, Michael Blum, Daniel Bozhkov, Pavel Büchler, Phil Collins, Smadar Dreyfus, Lukas Duwenhögger, Maria Eichhorn, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Hala Elkoussy, Jon Mikel Euba, Cerith Wyn Evans, Jakup Ferri, Flying City , Luca Frei, Erik Göngrich, Gruppo A12, Daniel Guzman, Hatice Güleryüz, Irwin , Chris Johanson, Y.Z. Kami, Karl-Heinz Klopf, Servet Kocyigit, Yaron Leshem, David Maljkovic, Oda Projesi , Paulina Olowska, Silke Otto-Knapp, Serkan Ozkaya, Ahmet Ogut, Sener Özmen, Dan Perjovschi, Ola Pehrson, Khalil Rabah, Mario Rizzi, Ruangrupa , Solmaz Shahbazi, Wael Shawky, Ahlam Shibli, Sean Snyder, Nedko Solakov, Superflex , Jens Haaning, Pilvi Takala, Tintin Wulia, Alexander Ugay, Roman Maskalev, Axel John Wieder, Jesko Fezer

Independent Project
18.10.05 - 28.10.05 “Two Continents and Beyond: Waterways” on Vapur
Official Independent Project of 9th Istanbul Biennale
Kuratoren: Renee Vara, Asli Sümer

mit Nicole Amore, Theo Angell, Art Hijack (Elana Rubinfeld and Trong G. Ngyen), John Breiner, Donna Clovis, Orly Cogan, Aaron Day, Christoph Draeger, David Eckard, Tamar Hirschl, Ryan Jeffery, Erin Letterman, Michelle Livsey, Miranda Lloyd, Eva Mantell, Mary Mattingly, Jason Middlebrook, Zhu Ming, Naoto Nakagawa, Lindsey Nobel, Dina Noto, Agata Oleksiak, Rune Olsen, Jim Peters, Paige Saez, Avelino Sala, Lisa Schilling, Dana Shea, Raphaele Shirley, Shinique Smith, Stephanie Snyder, Amy Steel, Vicky Tomayko, Lauren Was, Jeannie Weissglass, Bernard Williams