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Crisis at the Istanbul Biennial: Iwona Blazwick steps down, next edition postponed until 2025

IKSV

The crisis at the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the organized of Istanbul Biennial and Turkish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has been deepening since August last year. We have compiled a selection of articles covering this story as it unfolds:

19 January 2024: Iwona Blazwick has stepped down as curator of the next Istanbul Biennial, the latest development in a controversy which erupted last summer following her appointment by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. The next edition of the biennial has been postponed until 2025.

THE ART NEWSPAPER
Iwona Blazwick steps down as Istanbul Biennial curator—event postponed until 2025

8 January 2024 The curator and researcher Kevser Güler takes up the role on 15 January according to a statement published by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). The decision comes in the aftermath of a row surrounding the appointment of the exhibition’s curator.

THE ART NEWSPAPER
Kevser Güler named new director of Istanbul Biennial

27 December 2024 Bige Örer, who was director of the Istanbul Biennial at the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) since 2008, and Director of İKSV Contemporary Art Projects since 2018, has announced that she will step down from her role.

ART REVIEW
Director of the Istanbul Biennial Bige Örer steps down

16 August 2023: According to the report in Art Newspaper, Esra Sarıgedik Öktem, curator of the Turkish Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale, resigned from her post in protest of the recent actions of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). Earlier this month, IKSV announced Iwona Blazwick as curator of the next Istanbul Biennial despite the fact that the Advisory Board unanimously recommended Turkish-born curator Defne Ayas. To further complicate matters, Blazwick was one of the members of the very same Advisory Board, which since then has been dismissed.

THE ART NEWSPAPER
https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2023/08/10/istanbul-biennial-rejected-curator-recommended-by-advisory-board-in-favour-of-iwona-blazwick

ART REVIEW
https://artreview.com/istanbul-biennial-needs-greater-transparency-now-iwona-blazwick-defne-ayas-iksv/

HYPERALLERGIC
https://hyperallergic.com/838873/you-can-never-be-complicit-enough-for-the-turkish-art-world/

THE ART NEWSPAPER
https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2023/08/15/art-dealer-chosen-to-curate-turkish-pavilion-at-next-venice-biennale-resigns

ART REVIEW
https://artreview.com/turkeys-venice-pavilion-curator-resigns-amid-controversy/

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