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Join Biennial Foundation in Istanbul: Art as Media as Display, Biennials as Platforms for Social Change.

On the occasion of the 12th Istanbul Biennial and ISEA 2011

Biennial Foundation and School of Media Design & New Media Art – NABA present a discussion in two sessions (English):

Art as Media as Display – Biennials as Platforms for Social Change.

Saturday, 17 September 2011, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Reception: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Consulate General of The Kingdom of The Netherlands
Istiklal Caddesi 197
TR- 34433 Beyoglu
Istanbul, Turkey
Free admission – RSVP

Today the trend in art and critical theory often presents a program focusing on social issues and concerns rather than aesthetics. The contemporary biennial, one of the hypertrophied exhibition platforms of our global present, serves as the locus optimus for this focus. This type of exhibition has become a stage for artists, curators and spectators to reflect and speculate on our current condition. But has art become solely a vehicle for social commentary? And what is the role of the media in art practice and exhibition arenas? How does media – including internet, twitter and social networks – serve as a tool for the art world to convey larger issues? Does media democratize our society, or is the democratization of media in fact a falsehood? The re-mediation of our society is re-mediating both its epistemological and ontological status, with unexpected effects. Artists, curators and media specialists are invited to converse about these topics and to elaborate on their professional practice and point of view within the field of biennial-making and contemporary art.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Hedwig Fijen is a historian and art historian and founding director of Manifesta, European Biennial of Contemporary Art. Since 1996 she has initiated exhibitions that investigate various European regions based on an interest in their socio-historical and geo-political traits. Katarina Gregos is a curator and writer. She curated the Danish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 with the critical exhibition “Speech Matters” focusing on the complex issue of freedom of speech. Nazim Dikbas is an artist and educator at the Art Management Department of the Istanbul Bilgi University. He was a member of the music-multimedia group Zen and the artists’ initiative Hafriyat, and he has translated books by Pamuk, Nabokov and O’Connor. He participates in the 12th Istanbul Biennial 2011. Marieke van Hal – moderator – is director of Biennial Foundation.

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Martha Rosler is an artist and writer. Her work in video, photo-text, performance, writing and installation constructs incisive social and political analyses of the myths and realities of contemporary culture. She participates in the 12th Istanbul Biennial 2011. Yongwoo Lee is the founder and over-all director of the Gwangju Biennale, initiated in commemoration of the victims of the pro-democracy civil uprising in 1980 in Gwangju, Korea. He is a writer and curator based in Seoul and New York. Lanfranco Aceti is chair and artistic director of ISEA 2011. He is Visiting Professor at Goldsmiths College, London and Associate Professor at Sabanci University in Istanbul. His research focuses on the intersection between new media technologies, art and visual culture. Maurizio Bortolotti – moderator – is curator and Professor at NABA.

Reservation (until 16 September): Maria Ververidou mv@biennialfoundation.org

Organized by:

Biennial Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to facilitate links between organizations and practitioners operating within the global biennial community by providing resources for research and an open platform for exchange and collaboration.


School of Media Design & New Media Art – NABA – directed by Francesco Monico – provides a theoretical program on the critical debate on new media phenomena and appliances, on art and on the interaction between technology and society.

Kindly supported by: Consulate General of The Kingdom of The Netherlands, SICA, and Fund BKVB.

Occurring within the scope of the 12th Istanbul Biennial Parallel Events and ISEA 2011.

Image: Martha Rosler. Tron, Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful. Series of 20 photomontages (1967-72). © Martha Rosler.


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