Participants selected for the Istanbul Biennial Production and Research Programme attend seminars and workshops that are held weekly for 9 months. The programme is redesigned every period according to the interests and needs of the participants.

Each of the participants is assigned a mentor, who will meet and regularly discuss their projects for 9 months. The mentors are decided together with the participants, taking into account the needs of the participants and their projects.

The Production and Research Programme also helps the participants reach the people, institutions and technical support they require in connection with their technical needs and theoretical curiosities.

In order for the programme to be productive, it is important that the participants have one or more working projects/ideas throughout the programme. The participants develop these projects/ideas during the programme in cooperation with other participants and working with mentors. The projects are monitored through presentations made to the members of the Advisory Group in the middle and at the end of the programme.


2019-2020 Period

Bager Akbay, Halil Altındere, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Duygu Demir, Pelin Derviş, Merve Elveren, Köken Ergun, İnci Eviner, Leyla Gediz, Sibel Horada, Yasemin Özca, İz Öztat, Ali Taptık, Ezgi Tuncer and Dilek Winchester.

2018-2019 Period

Fulya Erdemci, Jean François Perouse, Nazlı Gürlek, Merve Elveren, Hale Tenger, Zeynep Dadak, Serdar Soydan, Tuğçe Tuna, Süreyyya Evren, Zeynep Öz, Gürcan Keltek, Esra Aysun, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, İz Öztat, Ali Taptık, Burak Delier, Tunca Subaşı, Deniz Gül and Burak Tamer.

Seminars and Workshops

Within the scope of the programme, weekly seminars, lectures and workshops are organized with the participation of artists, curators and academicians from Turkey and abroad.

2019-2020 Period

Banu Karaca, "Re-Reading Post-Ottoman Art History"
In this seminar anthropologist Banu Karaca opens up a discussion through her research on how dispossessed, looted and missing artworks have shaped the writing of ‘’Islamic art history’’.

Serdar Soydan, ''From Serial Fiction to Family Tree''
In this presentation, researcher Serdar Soydan talks about the processes of collecting serial novels into a book. Accompanied by examples from his archival research which centres on subjects, writers and works which are either excluded from the literary canon, marginalised or unrecognised. Soydan also shares his findings on LGBTI representation in the Turkish press of which he began to keep a record during this research.

Sibel Yardımcı, "History of the Body"
In this seminar, professor of the Department of Sociology at MSFAU Prof. Dr. Sibel Yardımcı presents how the body has been discussed throughout history with references from various thinkers and encourages participants to develop their critical thoughts on issues such as body, sexuality, and disability, accompanied by current news and topics.

Nazlı Gürlek, "Down, Inside, Naturally"
Artist Nazlı Gürlek invites participants to think, talk and share about their bodies as they move together in a conceptual workshop that includes dance, movement, performance, writing and speech.

Gurur Ertem, "Witnessing the Body and with the Body" 
In this workshop, through movement and drawing, sociologist and dancer Gurur Ertem beckons participants to think and witness; the body through the body, the embodiment of social and political traumas, the entanglement of the environment of the body and the physical environment, and nonviolent communication models.

Evrim Hikmet Öğüt: "Thinking about the Voices of Immigration: Probabilities, Examples, Suggestions"
Ethnomusicologist Assoc. Dr. Evrim Hikmet Öğüt discusses the relationship of the experience of immigration with music from a broad framework that includes both the transformation in the music itself and the change in the behaviours of music performers. She proposes to include the “sound universe” that naturally includes listening practices and everything we call “music” into this framework. In this workshop, the relationship between migration and music is considered and discussed with the participants in various aspects, case studies and ethical discussions.

Ayşe Erek, "From Memory to Imagination: Space, Object, Narratives"  (2 weeks)
This workshop aims to make an experimental reading of two chapters selected from Realms of Memory by Piere Nora and The Future of Nostalgia by Svetlana Boym, by bringing out that which is creative and dynamic from the seemingly immobilised memory.

Ayça Çiftçi, "Portraits of Istanbul in Turkish Cinema"
In this seminar, cinema writer and Assistant Professor Dr. Ayça Çiftçi discusses the perception of the city in different historical periods, and the relationship between the city and the characters, who are either native-born Istanbul dwellers or have come to the city from somewhere else, through the films Oh, Beautiful Istanbul, Muhsin Bey, and Distant.

Aylin Kuryel, "Nationalism and Image Policies"
In this seminar, University of Amsterdam faculty member Dr. Aylin Kuryel leads a discussion about nationalist image policies in everyday life through souvenirs, tattoos and monuments in public spaces.

Sezai Ozan Zeybek, " Strategies of Struggle in Authoritarian Regimes: A Workshop"
In this workshop researcher and academic Assoc. Dr. Sezai Ozan Zeybek presents perspectives on what can be done for social change and gives examples of action methods of different political movements. The main purpose is to discuss where change is impeded.

Emre Işık, "The Solar System and Beyond, A Chat on Astrophysics"
After four and a half billion years of being coddled in the bosom of an average star, at the edge of a galaxy of three hundred billion stars, in a universe that stretches endlessly, are the bipedal beings that have evolved on the extremely thin crust of the blue and white planet trying to make sense of all of this with their brains containing 100 billion neurons, are they now?

Saffet Murat Tura, "How Come We Remember Our Dreams?"
The subject of this chat with Dr. Saffet Murat Tura, known for his work in the fields of psychoanalysis, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind and science, will be the working principles of the brain and the neuroscientific working principles of memory.

Sami Gülgöz, "The Relationship of the Mind, Body and Object in Connection with Understanding Memory"
Remembering is an action that is generally thought to be accomplished by the mind. On the other hand, what we unwittingly learned and remember demonstrates that our mind carries out this action without our awareness. We also shouldn’t ignore the effect that our bodies and the objects around have on our memory. In this meeting, we will work on placing and later recalling, the information in memory in the context of the environment, object and body.

Saliha Yavuz, " Rights, Probabilities, Artists and Other Actors in the Field of Art"
In this seminar, cultural arts manager and curator Saliha Yavuz maps the artists and other actors around them, informs about the reciprocal rights of artists and institutions and talks about the documents we can use to conserve relationships in this network from various perspectives. The seminar also includes short briefings on independent possibilities, funding and artist-in-residence programmes.

Sevim Sancaktar, "Meaning, Media, Narrative" (3 weeks)
This lengthy workshop with Sevim Sancaktar aims to open the productions carried out in different disciplines to discussions in terms of presentation mediums and relations with space. In the course of the workshop, the context of materials used in the production structures, the exhibition decisions and the politics of exhibition are evaluated in all their relational dimensions. Material alternatives, elaboration of the presentation medium in accordance with the project, what could be the associations that would enable cross-reading through different disciplines and opportunities of site-specific placement are discussed with the participants, respectively.

Kerem Ozan Bayraktar, "How are Worlds made?"
We meet with the artist and academician Kerem Ozan Bayraktar for an artist presentation inspired by cybernetics, system theory and methods of ecology, on the methods of attempting to organize ideas, the differences of analytical and holistic approaches, research and the limits of all of them.

Banu Cennetoğlu: Artist presentation
Artist Banu Cennetoğlu talks about her artistic research, unexpected changes that may arise in the political atmosphere during the production process, negotiation processes with institutions and strategies to deal with these processes centred on her works Gurbet’s Diary: I Engraved My Heart into the Mountains and BEINGSAFEISSCARY, which she produced for documenta 14.

A talk session with Can Altay
In this meeting held with artist and academician Can Altay, participants of the Biennial Production and Research Programme conduct discussion exercises on each other's work through the relationships they have established throughout the programme and discuss examples on the concepts of community and co-production.

Ozan Atalan & Prof. Dr Serhat Alkan: "Anthropocentrism and Livestock"
The subject of this conversation with Professor at Istanbul University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Fertilisation and Artificial Insemination, and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Dr Serhat Alkan, hosted by biennial artist, researcher and educator Ozan Atalan, was the water buffalos of Istanbul. Urbanisation in the habitat of water buffalos, which have historical, cultural and economic significance for Istanbul, was associated with anthropocentrism; scientific and artistic viewpoints converged on the axis of transition from pasture feeding to ranching.

Haegue Yang: "Haegue Yang and Sadness"
In April 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in a demilitarized zone in the middle of the Korean peninsula. The live broadcast of this half-hour private conversation captured by the international media was taken from such a distance that only the sound of camera shutters and distant chirping of birds could be heard. This sound recording of the historical conversation was included in the encompassing installation produced by Haegue Yang for the 16th Istanbul Biennial, stimulating the senses with various scents, sounds and textures. In his speech, Yang started a discussion on his versatile practice and this new artwork commissioned by the biennial.

James Voorhies, "A Bookstore: Consumer Format as Curatorial Strategy"
Consumer Research Bureau/ was introduced in 2016 at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Curatorial Research Bureau, a collaboration between California College of the Arts and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, both in San Francisco, California, was launched in 2018. The online and itinerant bookshop called 100 Books was founded in 2019. These initiatives are unified by the expanded possibilities in the consumer form of a bookshop for bringing together communities through curated academic and public programs, using the bookshop as a convivial site for the production and distribution of knowledge in strategically curated activities and selections of titles.

2018-2019 Period

  • İsmet Akça, "Turkey Politics: Basic Approaches"
  • Emin Alper, "Artist Speech on the films Tepenin Ardı and Abluka"
  • Banu Karaca, "Re-Reading Post-Ottoman Art History"
  • Fırat Genç, "Basic Approaches in Urban Sociology and Current Literature"
  • Emre Yeksan, "Artist Talk on the Film Körfez: 'The City as a Protagonist in Cinema"
  • Cenk Özbay, "Towards a Queer Research?"
  • Metin Akdemir, "Queer Art and Activism Camaraderie in Turkey!"
  • Aylin Kuryel, "Politics of Boredom"
  • Sezai Ozan Zeybek, "How Did Democracy Emerge? Three Different Answers from the disciplines of Political Science, Sociology and Geography"
  • Begüm Özden Fırat, "Property and Commons"
  • Saffet Murat Tura, "Consciousness and Memory"
  • Emre Işık, "The Solar System and Beyond"
  • Emre Şan, "Merleau-Ponty's Place in French Philosophy and Relation with Art"
  • Bülent Gözkan, "Enlightenment and Revolution"
  • Saliha Yavuz, "Artists and Other Actors in the Field of Art: Rights, Probabilities"
  • Burak Delier, "How Not to Become an Artist?"
  • Gabi Ngcobo, "Dreaming Collectively: The Making of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art"
  • Özlem Altın and Thiago Rocha Pitta, artist talks
  • Köken Ergun, artist talk
  • Deniz Gül, artist talk
  • Monster Chetwynd, artist presentation
  • Erkan Özgen, artist talk
  • Nicolas Bourriaud, "Seventh Continent"
madebycat ®