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UAL Research Online

9th Istanbul Biennial

Esche, Charles and Kortun, Vasif (2005) 9th Istanbul Biennial. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Esche, Charles and Kortun, Vasif

All my curatorial work involves extensive research into the physical and cultural conditions of the venue, the works and artists to be included and the critical context.

As curator of this exhibition, I developed a new model for the Biennial. The show explored both the real urban location and the imaginative charge that this city represents for the world. 'Istanbul' was pursued as both metaphor and lived reality. Around half the fifty-three artists we selected were invited to live and work in Istanbul for between one and six months and many of the others were based in cities with a strong historic connection to Istanbul, from Cairo to Prishtinë, Almaty to Berlin.

We particularly selected installations sites like an apartment block, an old customs storehouse, a former tobacco depository and an office building connecting to the everyday life of the city. A crucial component was a critical ‘Positionings Programme’, highlighting local and international constellations within and beyond the city. An international perspective was established by mounting a number of works simultaneously at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, where the eighteen-year history of the Istanbul Biennial was put into dialogue with the existing museum collection.

This biennial represented a new and distinctive approach to the phenomenon of international biennials. The research that led up to the biennial stretched the map of the contemporary art world to include Kazakhstan, Egypt, Palestine, Kosovo and other geographic areas usually underrepresented.

Official Website: http://www.iksv.org/bienal/bienal9/english/?Page=Concept
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Charles Esche

Research Interests

In line with my role as director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, I am busy looking at the terms in which art museums and other art institutions can function within a city and with particular communities. The question in general is: what is the point of a city art museum in the twenty-first century? It includes questions about global cultural exchanges, local communities, public identities, singularity and the public sphere. At the same time, through the Community and Art workshops series, I am exploring how creative communities in diverse parts of the world can connect, learn from each other and break down nationalistic or regional barriers to a global, but differentiated, cultural sphere. The outcome of this research is in the form of exhibitions, workshops, public projects and texts.

Charles Esche and Mark Lewis co-founded Afterall, a research and publishing organisation, at Central Saint Martins in 1998. Each issue of Afterall Journal brings together five international artists whose work seems particularly pertinent to the wider cultural debates of the moment. In 2002 Los-Angeles based artist and writer Thomas Lawson joined Afterall as co-editor of the journal. Subsequently a second Afterall office was opened at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 16 September 2005
Related Websites: http://www.iksv.org/bienal/bienal9/english, http://www.afterall.org, http://www.vanabbemuseum.nl
Related Websites:
Event Location: Istanbul
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2009 12:49
Last Modified: 05 May 2010 10:10
Item ID: 1108
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1108

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