Basel - News

My Art Guide Basel 2017 Editorial Committee

1 day ago

This edition of My Art Guide Basel has been developed thanks to an incredible editorial committee formed by Albertine Kopp (manager of Davidoff Art Initiative), Samuel Leuenberger (founder and director of SALTS) and Hannah Weinberger (artist).  The committee has been working to select the best and most interesting art spaces and exhibitions in town while Andreas Ruby (director of S AM Swiss Architecture Museum) has developed an architecture-oriented itinerary around town.

Albertine Kopp (Basel Switzerland) has a passion for contemporary arts which continues to a professional capacity, in the position of Senior Manager of the Davidoff Art Initiative. A multilingual communicator and effective manager, Ms Kopp has worked in art and communication for a decade in various locations including Paris, London, New York and Frankfurt. Now based in Basel with the Swiss Luxury company of Oettinger Davidoff AG, she has been an affective force, building the international art initiative of Davidoff which aims to supports contemporary art and artists of the Caribbean region and create a cultural exchange with the rest of the world.

Samuel Leuenberger is the founder and director of SALTS, a space for exhibitions in Birsfelden, Switzerland. Based between Berlin and Birsfelden, he has curated the Parcours sector of Art Basel since 2016. Currently, he is organising shows for Basement Roma in Rome, Barbara Seiler Gallery in Zurich, Curated by (for Nathalie Hagland) in Vienna and he is collaborating with Koyo Kouoh on the SALON SUISSE, the Swiss Art Council’s collateral event programme for the Venice Biennale.

Hannah Weinberger (1988) is an artist living and working in Basel. She completed her Master‘s degree in fine arts at the Zurich University of the Arts. Her recent solo exhibitions include ‘You’ll be there when I’ll be near’, Badischer Kunstverein Karlsruhe (2016); Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2016); ‘As If I became upside down,right side up’, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof (2015); KUB Arena, Kunsthaus Bregenz (2014); MIT List Center for Visual Arts, Cambridge, MA (2014); Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles (2015); FriArt – Centre d’art de Fribourg (2013); ‘Le Moi Du Toi,’ Swiss Institute, New York (2012), amongst others. From 2011 to 2013, she co-ran the project space Elaine at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel, and is currently a residing board member of the Kunsthalle Basel. 

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Albertine Kopp Albertine Kopp
  • Samuel Leuenberger Samuel Leuenberger
  • Hannah Weinberger Hannah Weinberger
Basel - Interviews

Davidoff Art Residency Program: an Interview with Rodell Warner

1 day ago

On the occasion of the first edition of the Basel Meeting Point, organized by Davidoff in collaboration with My Art Guides, we interviewed the Trinidadian multi-media artist Rodell Warner (b. 1986 Trinidad & Tobago), selected artist of the Third Davidoff Limited Art Edition, an initiative which aims to promote and support Caribbean artists.

Rodell is a photographer, multi media artist and graphic designer whose works assume various forms in a process of exploration and rediscovery. He harnesses facets of new media, digital media and photography, creating unique patterns and projections that have become key characteristics in some aspects of his artistic production. Through his digital creations, Warner participates within a global framework of discourse about the nature of digital possibilities. How we see, think, and interact are brought into question as Warner seeks to reveal what is already there.

Carla Ingrasciotta: Could you tell us something about your experience and involvement into the Davidoff Art Initiative program?

Rodell Warner: To begin the process of creating the Limited Edition we thought about the meaning of “Time well spent” and explored different directions with the images, which became a way to generate a conversation about exactly how to communicate this with the artwork. I experimented with photography and drawing and digital collage, really assessing a wide range of possibilities to share with the group. As our discussion and analysis developed we realised that with both Davidoff’s work and mine, the focus was on exquisiteness in the craftsmanship of the things we make so that the experience of enjoying them is extraordinarily pleasurable, and we found that to be the true link between the product and the artwork, and time well spent. Taking cues from the elements that go into Davidoff’s products, I crafted images full of texture and colour that would be a joy to look at, a delight to experience

C.I: Which is the vision or concept you have about the Caribbean art? Do you think there is a common denominator or defining characteristic?

R.W.: There’s incredible diversity among the artists and art practices that I’m aware of in the Caribbean. I also know that my knowledge of all that’s happening in the region is nowhere near complete. The scope of Caribbean art seems so wide and free, so varied and uncentered, that I have to classify it as undefined and unknown.

C.I: The project you’re presenting is titled “Nature Reimagined”, a series of photographs and a further maturation from your earlier series “First Light” and “Negatives”. Could you tell us about the creative process behind this artwork?

R.W.: “Nature Reimagined” is six digital images I created for DAI’s Limited Art Edition which relate visually to the elements and processes that go into the crafting of Davidoff’s products. The Collectors’ Edition is a photo series of self-portraits I made by projecting these images onto myself. At Art Basel, visitors to our installation can choose to also be photographed this way.

C.I: Talking about your art you state “I enjoy the universality of this exploration, as the viewer is not asked to be familiar with any specific cultural references in order to access the work.” Could you tell us something more about this concept and your practice in general?

R.W.: My idea was that the image of the unclothed human form transcends all cultural signifiers, making it universally relatable as all viewers of art have bodies, although I feel now that the suggestion of universal relatability is not correct as even distorted images of unclothed bodies carry in them information that could be seen as identifiers of one group or another, and might not be seen as universal symbols.
What I’m interested in is the familiarity of the image of the human form, and distorting the image to inspire new imagination about it. I’m looking for surprising ways we can picture ourselves. I have the constant sense that I’ve already seen the body in every possible way, and yet I’m surprised all the time by exciting variations that I find and share.

C.I: In your work, you explore the nature of digital possibilities, trying to reveal unseen aspects of nature. How do you translate this urgency into your artwork?

R.W.: The use of technology in image-making creates possibilities for the generation of extremely unfamiliar scenes. Projection onto human figures offers a way to combine these unfamiliar scenes with what is perhaps the most familiar thing to us – the human form. The interaction of these two in my work creates instances of new ways to see the familiar, and new ways to imagine the complexity of nature which often or in many ways exists invisible to us.

C.I.: Any upcoming projects we could look forward to seeing?

R.W.: New projects are in the works. I’m making a new body of work – exploring a style of photography and video that I’m currently obsessed with and developing. I make a new show by experimenting and creating new things then collecting the most fascinating results and finessing those into an exhibition. While working on this new set of images I’m posting bits of it on my instragram, sharing breakthrough moments and feeling out what resonates the most.

C.I: It’s your first time in Basel, could you tell us about your expectations and what you are most looking forward to?

R.W.: I know the city is going to be buzzing with activity during Art Basel. I’m being very careful to make as few plans as possible so I can float around and take it in. I just want to be there and see what happens.

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Rodell Warner Rodell Warner
  • Rodell Warner, First Light, 2013 Rodell Warner, First Light, 2013
  • Rodell Warner, Nature Reimagined, Hyper Flower, 2017. Courtesy of the artist Rodell Warner, Nature Reimagined, Hyper Flower, 2017. Courtesy of the artist
  • Rodell Warner, Nature Reimagined, Aerial view, 2017. Courtesy of the artist Rodell Warner, Nature Reimagined, Aerial view, 2017. Courtesy of the artist
  • Rodell Warner, Nature Reimagined, Collectors edition, 2017. Courtesy of the artist Rodell Warner, Nature Reimagined, Collectors edition, 2017. Courtesy of the artist
Basel - Interviews

Basel Through an Architect’s Perspective: One Day in Basel with Andreas Ruby

1 day ago

As well as being the world’s most famous fair, Basel is also known for its amazing display of architectural marvels, so for this edition we decided to give our readers a special architecture itinerary courtesy of the director of the SAM Museum, Andreas Ruby, designed to help you enjoy the great local architecture on offer.

Basically, you could start anywhere in the city, because you are bound to run into great buildings no matter which neighbourhood you are in. But if you are in Basel during the summer, you should start with the Rhine. Get a Wickelfisch (I recommend at Tarzan store, Spalenberg 39), go to the Tinguely Museum and, ideally, after some instruction by a local, dip into the most incredible urban experience you can get of Basel. Feel the city as you float in between its two very different sides. To the left you will see the rocky cliffs of Grossbasel, to the right (????) the wonderfully crowded urban embankments of Keinbasel – and you should keep to the left, since that’s where you have to get ashore before Dreirosenbrücke. Once you have done that you will experience the architecture of the city no longer just visually, but viscerally.
An ideal way to start the day is taking a morning bicycle tour to my personal favourite kind of cathedral, a most incredible infrastructural building – the power station Birsfelden (Hans Hofmann, 1951-54). The architect originally wanted people to be able to walk through it, using it as an indoor bridge to go across the river. That did not happen, but you see it well from outside too. It’s a James Bond location par excellence, and indeed I always think Roger Moore might show up any second behind one of the giant blue turbines.
Have you ever eaten inside a church? In Basel you can do this at Café Elisabethen which is situated in the base of the bell tower of Offene Kirche Elisabethen. They serve wonderful soups, and if the small service area is full, you can sit at additional tables in the nave of the church. I go there almost daily and often bring architects, so you might well spot some of them there.
Go and see the incredible concrete St. Anton’s Church by Karl Moser (1925-27). Then head on to the Universitätsbibliothek at Schönbeinstrasse 18-20 and check out the interactive sculpture “Polyvolumes” by the stunning Brazilian artist Mary Vieira (who lived and worked in Basel for 30 years). There is another one of her sculptures in the nearby Pathology Building at Schönbeinstrasse 40. Dive into the amazing campus of Universitätsspital with its luscious greenery, outdoor art collection and discover one of the most remarkable hospital buildings I know of, the Klinikum 1 of Universitätsspital Basel by Hermann Baur and others, built between 1937-45. You can go up to its epic rooftop terrace that offers my favourite view over Basel.
The Rhine harbour Birsfelden is such an underexposed but incredibly powerful place. Just bike to Powerstation Birsfelden again and continue in the direction of Rheinfelden. This bike path actually leads through the harbour area which is unique since most other cities on the Rhine make their harbours off-limits to the public. But here someone really took infinite care to make sure that the embankment of the Rhine, even though used for loading and unloading ships with construction material, goods, and oil, remains entirely accessible to the public. All it takes is a sign saying that you can use the space at your own risk.
I love “Il giardino urbano” at Bahnhof St. Johann. It’s an outdoor restaurant placed right next to the train tracks. I recommend their pizza accompanied by Gleis 1, their self-brewed brand of beer. Or, if you’re looking for something indoor and closer to the centre, check out “Acqua”, a restaurant created inside a former water works facility with an enticing make-shift atmosphere. Their daily menu with complimentary red wine is tasty and affordable, a rare and precious treat in Basel.
Make your way to Kaserne Basel and grab a drink in Parterre One, designed by young Basel architects Focketyn Del Rio Studio. There’s always something interesting going on at the Kaserne, from theatre to concerts to events in the courtyard. Jazz lovers will find their treats at Jazz Campus Basel or Bird’s eye, which both feature excellent concerts.
The Basler Münster is an exceptional place; the view from the Pfalz over the Rhine is sublime, and the cross-coat of the monastery with its double hortus conclusus is an architectural jewel not to be missed.

Andreas Ruby studied art history at the University of Cologne and spent time in Paris and New York as a researcher. He has worked as an editor and resident correspondent for the architecture journals Daidalos and Werk, Bauen + Wohnen. In 2001, he and Ilka Ruby founded Textbild, an agency for architectural communication, realising numerous international discursive architecture projects. He curated architecture exhibitions for museums, exhibition centres and galleries (the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt, the German Architecture Centre (DAZ), the gallery Aedes in Berlin and the House of Architecture (HDA) in Graz). He and Ilka founded the architectural publishing company RUBY PRESS in 2008, realising 30 book projects as editor and publisher. In addition, Andreas has taught architectural theory as a guest professor at institutions such as Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, the University of Technology in Graz and ENSAPM in Paris. He has been the director of S AM Swiss Architecture Museum since May 2016.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Andreas Ruby © Patricia Parinejad Andreas Ruby © Patricia Parinejad
  • S AM Swiss Architecture Museum Basel S AM Swiss Architecture Museum Basel
Rome - News

A New Permanent Public Artwork by Giuseppe Penone in Rome

3 days ago

Foglie di Pietra” is the new permanent installation by Giuseppe Penone which has been unveiled on March 23rd in Largo Goldoni, just in front of the Fendi maison, the luxury fashion brand who commissioned the artwork.

The artwork consists of two large-scale bronze trees whose leafless branches bear a hunk of marble weighing more than 22,000 pounds, the surface of which is partially carved to reveal the corinthian capital of a column and the imprint of twisting tree roots.

The artist is also exhibiting in the spaces of Colosseo Quadrato, EUR. Curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the exhibition “Matrice” showcases a selection of historical and other works specially made for the exhibition. At the same time, Gagosian Roma just presented an exhibition titled “Equivalence”, hosted from January 27 to April 15, 2017.

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Giuseppe Penone, Foglie di Pietra, Photo by Stefano Guindani. Courtesy of FENDI Giuseppe Penone, Foglie di Pietra, Photo by Stefano Guindani. Courtesy of FENDI
Berlin - News

Art Berlin to Get Its First Edition

5 days ago

The first edition of the new art fair art berlin will take place from September 14–17, 2017, and will be inaugurated with around 100 galleries from the field of modern and contemporary art.

The fair will be organized by Koelnmesse GmbH. Maike Cruse, director of Gallery Weekend Berlin, will lead and implement the fair together with her team; Daniel Hug, director of Art Cologne, together with his team will provide comprehensive support for art berlin.

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Station Berlin Station Berlin
Buenos Aires - News

ArteBA Reaches its 26th Edition

5 days ago

Reaching its 26th edition, arteBA 2017 takes place from May, Wednesday 24th to Saturday 27th in Buenos Aires, with the presence of 90 galleries from 20 countries to participate in both the Main Section and the curated sections of the Fair.

The fair presents seven sectors, with numerous galleries participating in multiple sections. To check the full program click here

Opening days:
May 24-27, 2017

Opening times:
2 to 9 pm

La Rural, Blue and Green Pavilions, 2704 Sarmiento Avenue, Buenos Aires

$160; for seniors and students: $80

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • ArteBA 2017 ArteBA 2017
London - News

Jeremy Deller’s Posters Around London

5 days ago


Jeremy Deller, the Turner Prize winning artists, is behind the posters put up around London over the weekend.

The posters refer to Theresa May’s statement for the upcoming UK general elections. Deller confirmed to the Guardian on Monday that he was responsible. He said he hoped the posters were self-explanatory, particularly after “this U-turn this morning” from Theresa May on Conservative party social care policies.

Elena Scarpa

  • 'Strong and stable my arse' 'Strong and stable my arse'
Palestine - News

Emily Jacir Will Transform her Family Home in Bethlem into an Art Center

5 days ago

Palestinian artist Emily Jacir, who won the Biennale Gold Lion in 2007, plans to open an independent artspace in her family home in the West Bank.

The artist has started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to transform the home into an exhibition space which will focus on visual art and cinema.

“We envision the center as a place in which the history and the contemporary conditions of Bethlehem will meet, enabling the production of new works of art and visions of the future. It will be a learning hub for the Bethlehem community and beyond — a place to ask questions, exchange ideas, and grapple with our present-day situation.”

The center is due to open in September 2017.

Elena Scarpa

  • Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir
Venice - Interviews

Giardini Colourfall at the Venice Biennale: An Interview with Ian Davenport

6 days ago

On the occasion of the opening of the 57th Venice Biennale, Ian Davenport presented the project “Giardini Colourfall”, a monumental new painting for the Swatch pavilion.

Carla Ingrasciotta: Let’s start with the monumental painting you’ve been commissioned by the Swatch pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The piece is made of 200 litres of paint and incorporates 1,000 different colours. Could you tell us about the creative process of this artwork? How long did it take to complete it?

Ian Davenport: I had been in tentative discussions with Swatch about doing a project last year and then finally I went to Venice and met the creative director of Swatch, Carlo Giordanetti in the middle of December. I wanted to see the Giardini space and get a sense of what may work in the Biennale park environment, especially to understand the scale and light. I returned to London and ordered the materials straight away as I knew that the deadlines were very tight.
From then onwards we drew up a schedule for virtually every day until the collection date in early April. The painting needed to be prepared with a special primer in an industrial spraying process to protect the metal and then ground coats of paint were applied in my studio. The work is nearly 4 metres high and 14 metres long so even installing it in my studio was quite a project and we needed to re-weld and adjust the trusses in the roof to accommodate the painting.
Giardini Colourfall‘ is composed of lines of colour that have been carefully dripped down the painting surface. These then flow out onto to the floor and pool in thick seductive puddles. To ensure that there is no obvious break in the flow of the paint, I had to work every day for four weeks and up to 10 hours a day. It was pretty exhausting and challenging.

C.I.: The opening days of the Biennale are finally ended. What about your involvement in the exhibition and your collaboration with Swatch Faces 2017? Have you seen something that particularly attracted your attention in the Biennale and in town?

I.D.: The opening of the Biennale was very busy and crowded. It was a great event and exciting to be involved in such a high visibility project – the Biennale continues through to November 2017. To celebrate the collaboration with Swatch, I also had the opportunity to design a watch for them. This was great fun and obviously asks very different questions to do with scale and the relationship one has to a wearable object. I approached it as though I was making a painting albeit one of a very different shape, taking into special consideration the watch face.
From the National Pavilions, I liked the Phyllida Barlow installation. There were also many other wonderful shows on in Venice during the Biennale. One that I particularly liked was an exhibition of Philip Guston’s paintings at the Academia gallery – he is one of my favourite painters. He was famous as an abstract painter and then in the last years of his life changed direction and began to work figuratively. This was a very courageous decision that shocked many of his contemporaries and some life-long supporters of his career.

C.I.: Your practice is based on abstract and colourful painting. Where do you take inspiration from? In which way has your art evolved since you started to work as a painter?

I.D.: Recent inspiration for the colour in my work comes from looking at paintings from other artists. I am interested in how other painters use colour in their artworks and I try to use this as a starting point. It helps me to make more complex chromatic arrangements than I could otherwise imagine. The colour sequence for Venice was very carefully worked out and repeated twice to give a visual sense of balance and symmetry.
My early work was often monochromatic but it has gradually developed and become more focused on colour through sense and intuition rather than on a scientific basis. In the beginning, I found using colour difficult to come to terms with but as I became more familiar with it, I realised that I needed to embrace the unexpected and not to predetermine what might happen.

C.I.In terms of your art concepts and practice, who are your mentors? I see a certain connection with modern abstract painters as Piet Mondrian, for the shapes, or Vasily Kandinsky for the colours…

I.D.: There are so many artists I like that it is hard to select a list. The two most influential artists of the last 50 years for me are probably Jackson Pollock, who completely exploded how painting could be made and what its subject may be and Andy Warhol. Warhol is known for painting celebrities but I am more interested in how he explored repetition. He was a fantastic colourist.

C.I.: How is your typical day as an artist? Do you have an open studio?

I.D.: I get to the studio and have a cup of tea and a meeting with my team – most of whom are also artists and help with the preparation of the paints and materials. We figure out the jobs for that day and then get started. Following a strict routine, we work until one, then stop for lunch, start again at two, have a tea break at four then finish at six. I like to stay on after everyone leaves and have some time to myself either to carry on working or to play guitar or just think about what we have been doing and process the day.

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Ian Davenport, Giardini Colourfall, 2017. All rights reserved Swatch Ian Davenport, Giardini Colourfall, 2017. All rights reserved Swatch
  • Ian Davenport, Giardini Colourfall, 2017. All rights reserved Swatch Ian Davenport, Giardini Colourfall, 2017. All rights reserved Swatch
  • Ian Davenport, Giardini Colourfall, 2017. All rights reserved Swatch Ian Davenport, Giardini Colourfall, 2017. All rights reserved Swatch
  • Ian Davenport. All rights reserved Swatch Ian Davenport. All rights reserved Swatch
Istanbul - News

The 15th Istanbul Biennial Announces its Venues

7 days ago

The 15th Istanbul Biennial, titled “a good neighbour” and curated by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, takes place from 16 September to 12 November 2017. Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the 15th Istanbul Biennial is located in the heart of Istanbul, and can be visited free of charge at six nearby venues within walking distance.

Bringing together a variety of artworks dealing with different notions of home and neighbourhood, the 15th Istanbul Biennial exhibitions will take place at Istanbul Modern, Galata Greek Primary School, Ark Kültür, Pera Museum, an artist collective’s studio, and Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam.

Istanbul Modern
Address: Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Meclis-i Mebusan Cd., 34433 Beyoğlu-İstanbul

Istanbul Modern, one of the main venues of this year’s Biennial, is a former cargo warehouse that gained the status of a modern art museum following its initial use as a space for contemporary art at the 8th Istanbul Biennial in 2003. Situated in the area referred to as the Port of Istanbul, along the Bosporus coast and formerly known as Antrepo No. 4, the current building was designed by architect Sedad Hakkı Eldem between 1957 and 1958. After undergoing renovation, the warehouse was opened as the internationally renowned Istanbul Modern in 2004.

Currently, the harbour area around Istanbul Modern is under substantial transformation, and issues around transforming neighbourhoods will be reflected upon in several of the selected artworks to be displayed in the museum.

During the 15th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul Modern will display a number of multinational artistic positions in an open plan architecture. The works will be large-scale sculptures and installations as well as historical artworks. As a long-standing partner of the Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul Modern symbolises the continuity, experience and expertise of the exhibition.

Galata Greek Primary School
Address: Kemeraltı Cad. No: 49, 34425 Galata, Beyoğlu-İstanbul

Galata Greek Primary School, located in Karaköy and in close proximity to Istanbul Modern, was built in the neo-classical architectural style in the late 19th century. The school was one of the main educational locations for children of Greek descent in Istanbul for over a century. Due to a decrease in the Greek population of Istanbul in the second half of the 20th century, the school officially closed its doors in 2007.

Along with being a recurring venue of the Istanbul Biennial, the building has a special atmosphere due to its legacy as a school, a place for learning and knowledge and a key institution in any residential neighbourhood.

Ark Kültür
Address: Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Batarya Sk. No:2, 34430 Beyoğlu-İstanbul

Ark Kültür, located close to Istanbul Modern and Galata Greek Primary School, was originally built as a family home. The two-storey Bauhaus-style house was inhabited by different families throughout the decades. After going through a change in its physical appearance under the ownership of a single male – an Italian antique dealer who changed the building to an eclectic living space – the house was restored back to its original state in 2008 by architect Gülfem Köseoğlu, the last owner who converted the building to exhibition and cultural space.

For the 15th Istanbul Biennial, the space will yet again be inhabited, this time by a fictive character. Thus, the venue will be transformed into a domestic setting, a “house museum”, in which visitors can engage in layered narratives.

Pera Museum
Address: Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:65, 34430 Beyoğlu-İstanbul

Pera Museum was originally built by architect Achille Manoussos as Hotel Bristol in 1893. Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation founded the Pera Museum after the neo-classical building’s renovation in 2005. Located just off İstiklal Caddesi, this private foundation museum has three large collections: Orientalist Paintings, Anatolian Weights and Measures, and Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics. The first two floors house selected works from these collections.

The 15th Istanbul Biennial will take place on the top three floors of the five-floor museum, with Biennial works interspersed with the museum’s Orientalist Painting collection.

Artist Collective’s Studio
Address: Asmalımescit neighbourhood

As part of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, a participating local artist collective will be redesigning their studio, which is an apartment in Beyoğlu. This venue will welcome smaller crowds on a fixed viewing schedule to explore a new and immersive installation developed by the collective specifically for the Biennial.

Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam
Address: Yavuz Sultan Selim Mahallesi, 34083 Fatih-İstanbul

Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam is located in the Fatih neighbourhood across the Golden Horn. While it is the site furthest away from the other venues, it still remains within walking distance. Constructed in 1477, the hammam is one of the oldest Turkish baths in Istanbul and beautifully portrays the traditional social structures of the Ottoman period.

Both the male and the female sections of the hammam will be used for the Biennial, the latter will be used as an exhibition space for the first time.

A female artistic position will occupy the male section and a male artistic position will occupy the female section. Thus, this venue will engage with the traditional infrastructure of the spaces by challenging its traditional gender separation – and as such, the perception of codices of identity such as masculinity and femininity, as well as patriarchal and maternal structures.

The 15th Istanbul Biennial’s Public Programme
The public programme of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, coordinated by Zeyno Pekünlü, will kick off during the opening days of the Biennial. In addition to the symposia to be performed during the opening and closing week, there will be periodic events in which the audience will cook, read, and make music, as well as discussions, debates and workshops around the theme of the Biennial, “a good neighbour”.

The 15th Istanbul Biennial is made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Koç Holding and with the further patronage of a number of other supporters, international funders, and funding bodies. Instead of a curatorial statement, the curators have developed forty questions that are guiding the process of making the exhibition. These questions were first presented live in Istanbul by forty performers of different ages, genders and backgrounds in December last year, and can be found on the biennial’s website and on social media accounts. Some of these questions, such as “Is a good neighbour a stranger you don’t fear?” and “Is a good neighbour someone who reads the same newspaper as you?” are being used for an international billboard project presented in several cities around the world.

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Istanbul Modern, Photo credit: Murat Germen Istanbul Modern, Photo credit: Murat Germen
  • Galata Rum Okulu, Photo credits: Refik Anadol Galata Rum Okulu, Photo credits: Refik Anadol
  • Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam
  • Pera Museum Pera Museum
  • Ark Kültür Ark Kültür
  • Artist Collective’s Studio Artist Collective’s Studio