The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts has been organising the Istanbul Biennial since 1987. The biennial aims to create a meeting point in İstanbul in the field of visual arts between artists from diverse cultures and the audience. The fourteen biennials İKSV has organised up to now have enabled the formation of an international cultural network between local and international art circles, artists, curators and art critics by bringing together new trends in contemporary art every two years.
Considered as one of the most prestigious biennials alongside Venice, Sao Paolo and Sydney, the Istanbul Biennial prefers an exhibition model which enables a dialogue between artists and the audience through the work of the artists instead of a national representation model. The curator, appointed by an international advisory board, develops a conceptual framework according to which a variety of artists and projects are invited to the exhibition.
The most comprehensive international art exhibition organised both in Turkey and throughout the geographical sphere we are in, the Istanbul Biennial plays an important role in the promotion of contemporary artists not only from Turkey but from a number of different countries in the international arena.
The opportunity to follow developments and discussions in the art world, and therefore a complimentary educational program is provided both for students and viewers of art through the exhibitions and simultaneously translated panel discussions, conferences and workshops organised within the scope of the exhibitions.
After the first two biennials realised under the general coordination of Beral Madra in 1987 and 1989, İKSV decided to adapt a single curator system following the İstanbul Biennial directed by Vasıf Kortun in 1992. The biennial was organised under the curatorship of René Block in 1995, Rosa Martínez in 1997, Paolo Colombo in 1999, Yuko Hasegawa in 2001, Dan Cameron in 2003, Charles Esche and Vasıf Kortun in 2005, Hou Hanru in 2007 and What, How & for Whom / WHW in 2009, Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann in 2011 and by Fulya Erdemci in 2013. Held in 2015, the 14th Istanbul Biennial was drafted by Carolyn-Christov Bakargiev.
• 1987 "Contemporary Art in Traditional Spaces"
General Coordinator: Beral Madra
• 1989 "Contemporary Art in Traditional Spaces"
General Coordinator: Beral Madra
• 1992 "Production of Cultural Difference"
Director: Vasıf Kortun
• 1995 "Orient-ation - The Image of Art in a Paradoxical World"
Curator: René Block
• 1997 "On Life, Beauty, Translations and Other Difficulties"
Curator: Rosa Martinez
• 1999 "The Passion and the Wave"
Curator: Paolo Colombo
• 2001 "Egofugal - Fugue from Ego for the Next Emergence"
Curator: Yuko Hasegawa
• 2003 "Poetic Justice"
Curator: Dan Cameron
• 2005 "İstanbul"
Curators: Charles Esche and Vasıf Kortun
• 2007 "Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary: Optimism in the Age of Global War"
Curator: Hou Hanru
• 2009 "What Keeps Mankind Alive?"
Curator: What, How & for Whom / WHW
• 2011 "Untitled, (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011"
Curator: Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann
• 2013 “Mom, am i barbarian?”
Curator: Fulya Erdemci
• 2015 “SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms”
Drafter: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
Bienal Advisory Board
Adriano Pedrosa is a curator, writer and editor based in São Paulo. He studied Law at the Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro (B.L., 1988), Economics at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, and Art and Critical Writing at the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (MFA 1995). He has published in Arte y Parte (Santander), Artforum (New York), Art Nexus (Bogota), Bomb (New York), Exit (Madrid), Folha de S. Paulo (São Paulo), Frieze (London), Lapiz (Madrid), Mousse (Milan), Parkett (Zurich), Tate etc (London), The Exhibitionist (Berlin), among others. His writings have appeared in numerous books and catalogs, among them Fresh Cream, Vitamin D, Vitamind 3D, Vitamin P2 (Phaidon). He was adjunct curator of the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo (1998), co-curator of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo (2006), curator ofInSite_05, San Diego/Tijuana (2005), curator of 31st Panorama daArte Brasileira (Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, (2009), artistic director of the 2nd Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan (2009), and co-curator of the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011). He was a juror of the UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of the Arts (Istanbul Biennial, 2001), of the Prêmio EDP Novos Artistas (Museu Serralves, Porto, 2003), of the Hugo Boss Prize (Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2004), and of the Hans Nefken Award for Contemporary Art (MACBA, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 2012). Pedrosa is the director of PIESP—Programa Independente da Escola São Paulo.
Basak Senova is a curator and designer. She studied Literature and Graphic Design (MFA in Graphic Design and Ph.D. in Art, Design and Architecture at Bilkent University) and attended the 7th Curatorial Training Programme of Stichting De Appel, Amsterdam. She has been writing on art, technology and media, initiating and developing projects and curating exhibitions since 1995. She is an editorial correspondent for ibraaz.org and one of the founding members of NOMAD, as well as the organizer of "ctrl_alt_del" and "Upgrade!Istanbul". Senova was the curator of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). As an assistant professor, she lectured at the Faculty of Communication, Kadir Has University (2006-2010) and is currently teaching at the Department of Media and Visual Arts, Koç University. She co-curated the UNCOVERED (Cyprus) and the 2nd Biennial of Contemporary Art, D-0 ARK Underground (Bosnia and Herzegovina). She is the curator of the Helsinki Photography Biennial 2014, Jerusalem Show, and the Art Gallery Chair of SIGGRAPH 2014 (ACM), Vancouver.
İnci Eviner is a Turkish artist, based in Istanbul. The artist, using various techniques like illustration, photography and video, forms a tension between the space and performing bodies. This tension operates as an artistic approach revealing what is suppressed and breaking the codes. Her video works performing the uncanny on the stage of reason, deal with issues of identity; in particular female identity through social, cultural, historical or political perspectives.
She participated in numerous group exhibitions including,Making Room: The Space Between Two and Three Dimension, MASSMoCA, Massachusetts; Art in the Auditorium, Whitechapel Gallery, London; Istanbul Traversée, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille and Affinities: New Acquisitions, Deutche Bank Collection, Deutsche Guggenheim 1997-2007, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, 4th Thessaloniki Biennial and 13th Istanbul Biennial. Among the selected solo shows are Fluxes of Girls on Europe, Istanbul Galeri Nev, İstanbul and İstanbul Modern; Nouveau Citoyen, MAC/VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine; Hold, Mizuma Gallery, Tokyo and Broken Manifestos, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris.
Iwona Blazwick has been Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, London, since 2001 and is a critic, broadcaster and lecturer. She was formerly at Tate Modern and London’s ICA as well as working as an independent curator in Europe and Japan. Blazwick was a Commissioning Editor for Phaidon Press, is series editor of Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Documents of Contemporary Art and publishes extensively on art and arts institutions.
Blazwick has served on numerous juries and is chair of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women and serves on Film London’s Jarman Award. She is on the Advisory Board of the Government Art Collection, the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group and the Paul Mellon Foundation. She is a Trustee of Harewood House, Yorkshire. Blazwick has honorary degrees from Goldsmiths College, University of London; London Metropolitan University; Plymouth University; University of the Arts; and is a fellow of the Royal College of Art. She was awarded an OBE for services to art in 2007.
Ute Meta Bauer
Ute Meta Bauer is a curator of exhibitions and presentations on contemporary art, film, video, and sound, with a focus on transdisciplinary formats. Bauer issince October 2013 Founding Director of CCA – NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore —a national research center of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), where she is as well Professor in the School of Art, Media and Design. From 2012–2013 she was Dean of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art, London. Prior to that appointment she was Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, where she served as the Founding Director of ACT, the Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (2009–2012) and as Director of the MIT Visual Arts Program (2005–2009) at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. Bauer was Founding Director of the Office for Contemporary Art (OCA) in Oslo, Norway (2002-2005), where she also served as commissioner for the national contributions for the Venice Biennale and the Bienal de São Paulo, and she was co-director with HouHanru of the World Biennial Forum No. 1, Gwangju, South Korea, 2012; Artistic Director of the 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2004; and Co-Curator of Documenta11 (2001–2002). Bauer has edited numerous publications in the field of contemporary art, most recently Intellectual Birdhouse. Artistic Practice as Research (co-edited with Florian Dombois, Michael Schwab and Claudia Mareis, 2012),World Biennale Forum No 1 – Shifting Gravity (co-edited with HouHanru) and AR – Artistic Research (co-edited with Thomas D. Trummer), both 2013.She has recently curated Theatrical Fields commissioned by BildmuseetUmeå, Sweden (2013/14), a show that scheduled to be shown at the CCA in Singapore for summer/fall 2014 and in 2015 she will co-curatewill Paul Ha, director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center, who also serves as the commissioner, the US Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale for Arts presenting Joan Jonas.
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