Curated by Paolo Colombo and Lora Sarıaslan, the 2nd Mardin Biennial takes place between 21 September-21 October, 2012 in the city of Mardin in the southeastern part of Turkey.

2nd Mardin Biennial 2012: Double Take
21.9. – 21.10.2012; Mardin, Turkey

Deriving from the richness of the city in  21terms of its architectural, historical, and cultural layering, the Mardin Biennial develops a framework so that it both stems from the city and also shapes the city. Creating a new path by interweaving art and urban texture, and by presenting uncommon dialogues and coincidences, the show explores the familiar and the unfamiliar with the aim of inspiring a double take in the viewer: a recurring afterthought as to what is art and what is an everyday object, and how a thin line divides or at times connects them.

The Biennial consists of diverse venues revolving around the daily lives of Mardin citizens, ranging from historical mansions to barber shops, from kıraathanes (coffee houses) to open air cinemas in the city. Within a short walking distance from each other the venues house 30 artists, including Fikret Atay, Sami Baydar, Edy Ferguson, Mona Hatoum, Seyit Battal Kurt, Marisa Maza, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Hrair Sarkissian, Shahzia Sikander, Murat Şahinler, Nasra Şimmes,Pae White and others. Some artists have introduced site-specific work that organically relates to the setting, others present work incorporating and employing space in a contemporary manner.


Paolo Colombo has been an art advisor at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art since 2008. He was a curator for the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennial in 2011 and the curator of the 6th Istanbul Biennial in 1999. From 2001 to 2007 he was the curator of the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo in Rome. He has been associate producer of a number of award-winning films.

Lora Sarıaslan is an art historian and freelance curator based in Istanbul. She has curated exhibitions both abroad and in Turkey, most recently Life in the UK/ Balance of Probabilities as part of the Asia Triennial Manchester 2011, UK. She was the curator at Istanbul Modern from 2005 to 2011. Prior to this post, she was the McDermott Curatorial Assistant from 2001 to 2005 at the Dallas Museum of Art, USA.


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