Latest News

Limited Editions: A special project from the Istanbul Biennial on its 30th anniversary | 24.03.2018 Optigull and Pesigull: A Good Neighbour Song invited children to visit the biennial after two seagulls | 17.01.2018 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











The Prologue Exhibition to the 13th Istanbul Biennial: 'Agoraphobia'

The Prologue Exhibition to the 13th Istanbul Biennial Agoraphobia Opens at TANAS, Berlin

"Agoraphobia, the prologue exhibition of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, will take place at TANAS, Berlin between 25 May and 27 July 2013. The exhibition aims to unfold the core question of public domain, central to the conceptual framework of the biennial, by questioning the politics of space in relation to freedom of expression.
Depending on the context, the ancient Greek term `agora´ refers either to an assembly of people or the place of assembly.[1] However, if we are to consider it as a metaphor for public domain, it embodies both connotations simultaneously. Thus, assembly in the context of the exhibition does not merely refer to any gathering of people for any purpose, but is rather specifically related to the act of social engagement and political debate around important issues concerning citizens. When articulating the concept of free man in ancient Greece, Hannah Arendt delineates the relationship between freedom and space:

The life of a free man needed the presence of others. Freedom itself needed therefore a place where people could come together—the agora, the market—place, or the polis, the political space proper.[2]

Here, Agoraphobia emblematically (fear of crowd or fear of open space) refers to the fear of freedom of expression and collective public action. The exhibition will thus explore the politics of space as an inevitable vector of freedom and urban public spaces as the spatial component of democratic apparatus.
Recently, the growing discontent with existing regimes and frustrations about their governance and ideologies has been manifested in urban public spaces – streets, squares and parks. Public space is converted into a stage for the expression of conflict and unrest and reclaiming the squares and streets echoes the demand for social and spatio-economic justice. We can ask whether urban public spaces aid or abate critical masses that fuel debate and collective public action, or provide a platform to exercise civic rights. In the current climate, is it possible to imagine social change through open resistance demonstrated on the streets?

With the participation of Jimmie Durham, Freee (Dave Beech, Andy Hewitt and Mel Jordan), LaToya Ruby Frazier, Amal Kanawy, Lux Lindner, José Antonio Vega Macotela, Cinthia Marcelle, Şener Özmen, Proyecto Secundario Liliana Maresca (Liliana Maresca Secondary School Project), Christoph Schäfer and Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Agoraphobia will focus on the intricate layers of the concepts of freedom, censorship/auto-censorship and repression, while bringing out diverse artistic strategies and formulas that can steer the imagination towards resistance and change."
Fulya Erdemci, Bige Örer and Kevser Güler

[1] Paul Carter, Repressed Spaces, The Poetics of Agoraphobia (London: Reaktion Books, 2002), p. 16.
[2] Hannah Arendt, On Revolution (New York, NY: Penguin Classics, 2006), p. 21. First published 1963 by Viking Press.

Fulya Erdemci, curator of Istanbul Biennial 2013, Bige Örer, Director of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, and some participation artists will be present at the opening on Friday, 24 May, between 6 and 9 p.m.
The DIALOGUE programme will be continued every Saturday at 2 p.m. Guests of these conversational tours are Fulya Erdemci and Bige Örer (in English), Christoph Schäfer, Heike Catherina Mertens, Alicja Kwade, Ellen Blumenstein, Friedhelm Hütte, Udo Kittelmann, David Elliott (in English) and Joanna Warsza (in English).

Another booklet of the TANAS edition will be published in English and German, approx. 80 pages, with installation views of all works and a text by Fulya Erdemci.