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The new stop of the 15th Istanbul Biennial’s international billboard project is Moscow | 04.08.2017 Artists announced for the 15th Istanbul Biennial | 25.07.2017 The second stop of the 15th Istanbul Biennial’s international billboard project is Limerick City Gallery of Art | 29.05.2017 The 15th Istanbul Biennial to open its doors in six venues | 22.05.2017 Biennial Special tickets | 15.05.2017 14th Istanbul Biennial participants at Sharjah Biennial 13 | 03.04.2017 Adrián Villar Rojas at Metropolitan Museum of Art | 08.03.2017 "a good neighbour" billboard project at The Home of St Patrick Festival in Ireland | 01.03.2017 Jannis Kounellis died at the age of 80 | 17.02.2017 Five exhibitions worth traveling for in 2017, according to Newsweek | 04.01.2017 The title and conceptual framework of the 15th Istanbul Biennial is announced | 07.12.2016 Exhibited for the first time at the 14th Istanbul Biennial, 'Red/Red' joins the collection of MoMA | 12.08.2016 An exhibition of Cansu Çakar is at Jordan | 21.04.2016 15th Istanbul Biennial's curators announced | 13.04.2016 Invitation to Bige Örer from Whitechapel | 18.03.2016 'Thought Forms' visit Chicago after the biennial | 11.01.2016 14th Istanbul Biennial ended | 06.01.2016 News from 14th Istanbul Biennial | 15.07.2015 Plan your visit | 09.07.2015 Biennial Special tickets | 16.06.2015 Save the Date for the 14th Istanbul Biennial: SALTWATER: A THEORY OF THOUGHT FORMS | 20.05.2015 SALTWATER. A Theory of Thought Forms | 18.05.2015 Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev appointed Director of GAM Torino and Castello di Rivoli | 15.05.2015

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'Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011'

September 17 - November 13, 2011
Professional preview: September 15 - 16, 2011
Press conference: September 15, 2011, 10 a.m.

The 12th Istanbul Biennial will explore the relationship between art and politics, focusing on works that are both formally innovative and politically outspoken. The work of the Cuban-American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996) is a clear example of this kind of artistic practice, and a primary inspiration for the biennial. The title of the biennial, Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011, deliberately references the way in which Gonzalez-Torres named most of his works: "Untitled" followed by a description in parentheses.

The 12th Istanbul Biennial will include five group shows and approximately 45 solo presentations. Each of the group shows will feature a large number of artists' works brought together under a particular theme. The theme titles - "Untitled" (Passport), "Untitled" (Ross), "Untitled" (Death by Gun), Untitled (Abstraction), and Untitled (History) - refer to works by Gonzalez-Torres. The group shows will have the character of intimate cabinet exhibitions, each occupying a distinct space, and together they will function as thematic anchors for the biennial as a whole. Around them will be the solo presentations. Each solo presentation will be linked to the subjects of the group shows but will push the themes decidedly further, exploring the broader issues the group exhibitions have introduced.

In response to those today who devalue the exhibition as the primary format of artistic and curatorial expression, favoring instead ancillary events and programming (especially in a biennial context), the organizers of the 12th Istanbul Biennial advocate for renewed attention to the importance of the exhibition itself. The biennial will be precisely installed in a single, carefully constructed space, privileging above all else the display and juxtaposition of the artworks. Special attention is being given to the exhibition's architecture, designed by Ryue Nishizawa of Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates (SANAA), Tokyo, with graphic design developed in collaboration with Jon Sueda of Stripe, San Francisco.
Outside of the dates of the biennial, a range of events are planned to enhance its reach and scope. The first is a unique collaboration with the Istanbul Film Festival in April 2011. Untitled (Film) is a cinematic preview of Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011. It will feature 10 films that relate aesthetically and politically to the subjects under examination in the biennial. It is inspired by a desire to widen the format of the biennial beyond its usual focus on the visual arts into a larger cultural manifestation that encompasses other artistic fields (specifically those represented by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts).

Furthermore, recognizing that a comprehensive retrospective of Felix Gonzalez-Torres's work has never yet been mounted in Istanbul, the biennial's organizers will present a one-day seminar on his work titled Untitled (FGT). It will take place in Istanbul in summer 2011 and will involve a number of curators, writers, and artists who are close to the work and ideas of Gonzalez-Torres. (Gonzalez-Torres's work was included in the 5th Istanbul Biennial in 1997.)
An ambitious education program will be realized over the course of the biennial, which will involve bringing a large number of the participating artists to Istanbul to conduct workshops, talks, and tutorials with young artists based in Turkey.

The publication program of the biennial encompasses three volumes: a book documenting the November 2010 conference Remembering Istanbul, which looked back at the history of the Istanbul Biennial; a short guide with full-color photographs and interviews with the artists; and a catalog that will feature six new essays on the topics of the exhibition as well as installation images of the biennial.