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Mom, Am I a Barbarian? 13th Istanbul Biennial hosts 88 artists and artist collectives
A visitor walks past art works during the 13th Istanbul Biennial. The 13th Istanbul Biennial opened under the topic of ''Mom, am I barbarian?'' The biennial hosts 88 artists and artist collectives whose work problematizes the dichotomies between barbarity and civilization, nature and culture. AFP PHOTO/OZAN KOSE.
ISTANBUL.- The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) organises the Istanbul Biennial, which aims to create a meeting point in İstanbul in the field of visual arts between artists from diverse cultures and the audience, for the 13th time this year.

The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, started on Saturday, 14 September and will be open until Sunday, 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space, reach out to a wider audience, and be accessible to everyone.

The 13th Istanbul Biennial hosts 88 artists and artist collectives whose work problematize the dichotomies between barbarity and civilisation, nature and culture, the singular and the universal, the subject and the social, and randomness and order, and layer these relations visually to unravel linguistic and intellectual processes together with emotional experiences. Featuring the works of 11 artists and 2 artistic/civil collectives from Turkey, as well as 3 artistic collaborations formed of both Turkish and foreign artists, the 13th Istanbul Biennial is one of the biennial exhibits with the highest rate of participation from Turkey up to date.

The 13th Istanbul Biennial exhibitions can be visited free of charge between 14 September and 20 October at Antrepo no.3 in Tophane, Galata Greek Primary School in Karaköy, ARTER and SALT Beyoğlu on İstiklal Street and 5533 in İMÇ 5th Block.

The 13th Istanbul Biennial, the internationally acclaimed event of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, will host approximately 5,000 guests from the international art community, including critics, curators, museum and gallery directors, art professionals and press members.

THE TITLE OF THE 13TH ISTANBUL BIENNIAL
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, which borrows its title from poet Lale Müldür’s book, explores the notion of public space as a political forum and focus on the relation of art and literature (poetry). With the term “barbarian”, it also signifies the novel languages we need to learn or yet to invent to understand the “other”s and to conceive the world to come. The exhibition aspires to open up a space to rethink the concept of ‘publicness’ through art and elicit imagination and innovative thought to contribute to social engagement and discussion.

The possibility of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, which centres on the concept of public space, opening its doors to the widest public; being free of charge and thus reaching a wider audience, was on the table as a most meaningful objective since the very first day. However for an event of this size to be entirely free is not only a first in the history of İKSV but it is a rare incident in the world.

The relationship between art and public domain that was emphasized in the conceptual framework, as well as contemporary and historical practices related to architecture, urban planning and social structure were rendered visual around three ‘squares’ in Antrepo no.3. The first two squares focus on urban transformation and collective living practices, while the third is reserved for works that challenge the concept of monument – the most predominant art form in public spaces that impose the ruling ideology into urban texture- and for the temporary, performative and relational projects focusing on social asymmetry which allude to questions of public domain such as freedom of expression, media autonomy, censorship (self-censorship) and citizenship. The works of total 52 artists and artist collectives take place at Antrepo no.3.

The meeting hall on the entry level of the Galata Greek Primary School, and its attic host works which present an experience of ground-up self-organisation and collective action. The meeting hall on the first floor, which offers a panoptical experience for the viewer, has been transformed into a learning machine, the functioning of which is determined by the participants. As for the attic, in addition to hosting projects that focus on urban transformation in Istanbul, it has been imagined as a forum for conversations, discussions and workshops. 28 artists and artist collectives are exhibited in the Galata Greek Primary School’s 2,300 square metres.

The 13th Istanbul Biennial exhibitions take place on four floors of ARTER in 1,000 square metres displaying 15 artists and artist collectives.



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October 4, 2013

Mom, Am I a Barbarian? 13th Istanbul Biennial hosts 88 artists and artist collectives

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