On the occasion of the 12th Istanbul Biennial and ISEA 2011:
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
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. (first session)
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 Dikbaş 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.