14th Istanbul Biennial
Saltwater: a Theory of Thought Forms
September 5 – November 1, 2015
Curator: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
“Saltwater: a Theory of Thought Forms. The 14th Istanbul Biennial looks for where to draw the line, to withdraw, to draw upon, and to draw out. It does so offshore, on the flat surfaces with our fingertips but also in the depths, underwater, before the enfolded encoding unfolds. This international exhibition of art will present new works by over fifty visual artists and other practitioners, including oceanographers and neuroscientists, in a city-wide project on the Bosphoros that considers different frequencies and patterns of waves, the currents and densities of water, both visible and invisible, that poetically and politically shape and transform the world. With and through art, we mourn, commemorate, denounce, try to heal, and we commit ourselves to the possibility of joy and vitality, leaping from form to flourishing life.” (Christov-Bakargiev)
Also participating in the programme of the conference are İKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı, General Manager Görgün Taner and Istanbul Biennial Director Bige Örer. Following a welcome by Bige Örer, the exhibition “drafter” Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev announces the title “Saltwater: A Theory of Thought Forms. The 14th Istanbul Biennial” and gives brief information about the conceptual framework of the exhibition. The media conference continues with the screening of Tide Table (2003) by William Kentridge, and an excerpt from Pink Boat (1993 / video 2014) by Füsun Onur, and concludes with a reading in Italian by Nanni Balestrini of his short novel Carbonia (2009-2010, published 2012), also read in English by Christov-Bakargiev and in Turkish by Münevver Çelik from Otonom Publishing. The reading of the full text of Carbonia continues from 9 pm onwards on Wednesday, 10 September with the attendance of the author at Otonom, who recently published the book in Turkish.
Haldun Taner Stage is located at 41°2′33.69″N 29°0′26.27″E in Kadıköy, and it was built as a market hall for agriculture in 1925-27 but was never used for that purpose. It became a theatre in 1989 in honour of Haldun Taner (March 16, 1915 – May 7, 1986), a Turkish playwright, short story writer and essayist, who introduced the Cabaret style to Turkey. Taner is most known for his Ballad of Keşanlı Ali (1964) an epic style satire of his society through the story of a hero-bandit. On the Anatolian side of the Marmara Sea facing the Princes’ Islands to the South and Old Istanbul to the West, this area has been inhabited continuously since prehistoric times, for over 7,000 years.
For the 14th Istanbul Biennial, Christov-Bakargiev has been seeking the artistic advice of Cevdet Erek, the intellectual rigor of Griselda Pollock, the sensitivity of Pierre Huyghe, the curatorial imagination of Chus Martínez, the mindfulness of Marcos Lutyens, the acute gaze of Füsun Onur, the political philosophies of Anna Boghiguian, the youthful enthusiasm of Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran, and the wise uncertainties of William Kentridge. Manifold qualities and agencies come as the process develops. New qualities and alliances that have been recently made include the radical reading of Elvan Zabunyan, The extensive knowledge of the oceans of Emin Özsoy, the narrative possibilities of Aslı Çavuşoğlu, the expanding collections of Emre Hüner, the heartfelt relations of Merve Kılıçer, and the perception of beauty of Russell Storer.