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Istanbul Biennial

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Istanbul Biennial
İstanbul Bienali
GenreContemporary art
BeginsMid September
EndsMid November
FrequencyEvery two years (odd years until 2019, even years starting 2022)
Location(s)Istanbul, Turkey
Most recent2022
Patron(s)İstanbul Kültür Sanat Vakfı (IKSV)

The Istanbul Biennial is a contemporary art exhibition that has been held biennially in Istanbul, Turkey, since 1987. The Biennial has been organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) since its inception.[1][2]


Istanbul Biennial adheres to an exhibition model in which 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. After the first two biennials realized under the general coordination of Beral Madra in 1987 and 1989, IKSV decided to commission a different curator for each edition, starting with the 1992 Istanbul Biennial directed by Vasif Kortun.

Istanbul's 13th biennial in 2013 was overtaken by political events; its theme was art in public spaces but was forced to retreat indoors after many of the scheduled venues filling with plumes of tear gas and water cannon as police and demonstrators clashed had been tuned into a battleground between demonstrators trying to protect the city's Gezi Park.[3]

The 2015 edition presented new works by more than 50 visual artists as well as oceanographers and neuroscientists.[4]

Past biennials[edit]

Installation from Istanbul 2005 Biennial

Past participating artists[edit]

9th Istanbul Biennial, 2005[edit]

12th Istanbul Biennial, 2011[edit]

The 12th Istanbul Biennial was curated by Jens Hoffmann and Adriano Pedrosa, and ran from September 17 – November 13, 2011. The shows spanned two buildings at Istanbul's Antrepo.

Group exhibitions[edit]

  • "Untitled" (Ross)
  • "Untitled" (History)
  • "Untitled" (Abstraction)
  • "Untitled" (Passport)
  • "Untitled" (Death by Gun)

Solo artists[edit]

Past venues[edit]

The 2009 biennial took place at three venues on the European side of the city: Antrepo, or warehouse, No. 3 in Tophane; the Tobacco Warehouse, also in Tophane; and the Feriköy Greek School, in Şişli.[6] All of the art selected for the 2011 edition was shown at one central location, in Warehouses No. 3 and 5 next to the Istanbul Modern museum.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Istanbul Biennial (Turkey)". Biennial Foundation. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  2. ^ "Home Page". bienal.iksv.org. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  3. ^ Andrew Finkel (September 11, 2014), Istanbul Biennial curator reveals concept behind 'Saltwater' theme Archived 2014-09-12 at the Wayback Machine The Art Newspaper.
  4. ^ Andrew Finkel (September 11, 2014), Istanbul Biennial curator reveals concept behind 'Saltwater' theme Archived 2014-09-12 at the Wayback Machine The Art Newspaper.
  5. ^ George Nelson (September 16, 2022). "The 17th Istanbul Biennial finds novel ways to have difficult conversations". The Art Newspaper.
  6. ^ Susanne Fowler (September 12, 2009), A Croatian Collective Takes Charge at Istanbul’s Biennial New York Times.
  7. ^ Susanne Fowler (September 15, 2011), Istanbul Biennial: One Location, Many Attitudes New York Times.

External links[edit]