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The 15th Istanbul Biennial Opens on September 16

bienal en logoOrganized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) since 1987, the 15th Istanbul Biennial brings together artworks by 56 artists from 32 countries, including 30 new commissions, all addressing different notions of home, belonging and neighborhood.

Sponsored by Koç Holding, the 15th Istanbul Biennial takes place in six nearby venues within walking distance: Galata Greek Primary School, Istanbul Modern, Pera Museum, ARK Kültür, Yoğunluk Atelier, and Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam.

Istanbul Biennial2017 map

During the 15th Istanbul Biennial, a free of charge public programme of events that encompass a variety of activities and discussions related to the concept of a good neighbour will be held from 16 September with the participation of people from a variety of different fields. Coordinated by Zeyno Pekünlü, the public programme will include the opening symposium titled Chosen Families, which is focused on seeking belonging beyond the family institution and will be held at the Pera Museum on September 16 at 14:00. At the symposium, Sahrzad Mojab from the University of Toronto will describe from her own experience an immigration study on violence and the female body; Joseph Massad will give a speech criticizing the liberal manifestations of multiculturalism; while Şükrü Argın will make a presentation about the boundaries we draw within and outside national borders. The closing symposium titled Mutual Fate will take place at Istanbul Modern on 11 November at 14:00, with the participation of Massimo de Angelis, Stavros Stavrides and Ayfer Bartu Candan, focusing on the impact of urban ecology and spaces on our relations.

The programme will continue discussions around these two topics with weekly events where participants will think, cook, read and make music together. Ezgi Tuncer, a lecturer from Kadir Has University will carry out a workshop where invited chefs from different countries will cook and chat together, while academician Sezai Ozan Zeybek will make a presentation where he will study the history of dogs together with the history of the city. The workshop organised by Evrim Hikmet Öğüt will bring the immigrants and resident musicians of Istanbul together for improvised performances. Collective Çukurcuma will organise reading days in a new venue, which is located on the lower floor of the Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building where the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts is located. In a workshop organised by the Hamisch (Syria Cultural House in Istanbul) and Goethe-Institute, children will create their own superheroes with the help of young Syrian artists.

During the preview days of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, various artist talks will also be given. Fred Wilson will give a speech at the Pera Museum auditorium on 14 September at 17:00 about his historically referenced work, Afro Kismet, which is exhibited in the same museum. Egyptian visual artist and researcher Heba Y. Amin will give a lecture performance in the Pera Museum auditorium on 15 September at 18:00 titled The General’s Stork, and related to her video work at the Galata Greek Primary School.

Simultaneous translation service will be provided during the artist talks and symposiums during the opening and closing weeks.

Admission to all events is free.

Further details about the Public Programme can be found here: