|A Slippery Path or a Hazardous Tribute to Humanism |
"Backlight" 7th International Photographic Triennial in Tampere, Finland:
the exhibitions "Untouchable Things", 15 October 2005 - 15 January 2006;
"Spells of Childhood", 15 October 2005 - 29 January 2006.
|Losing Oneself in the City. Destination: 9th International Istanbul Biennial |
Istanbul awaits the visitor as a surprising adventure, one that doesn't conform to preconceptions and stereotypes regarding the Turkish capital. This could be the opening text of a tourist guide. One could go on to talk about this milieu, saturated with symbols and signs of different cultures, and about the positive and dynamic atmosphere, inviting the reader to follow in the footsteps of the protagonists of the film "Diamond arm", or offer some other kind of psycho-geographic experience. It's a city where one can willingly lose oneself. Sadly, this article is not the place to describe alternative routes, since the focus here is on the 9th International Istanbul Biennial, and it is in a sense a story about purposefully losing oneself in the city. The city will be considered more as platform, as a theme for this year's Istanbul Biennial, which has in recent years been drawing the attention of a wide audience, striving to join the list of the world's art hotspots, and this time, it seems, has become one of the events of the year in contemporary art.
Seeing that realisation of the project had been entrusted to a team of curators that included both experts on the local situation, such as Vasif Kortun, director of the Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Centre in Istanbul, and such radical transformers of the art scene as Charles Esche, and knowing the style of work of these two curators, a positive symbiosis was foreseeable. At the recent conference in Linz on "The future of institutional critique", Charles Esche discussed the changing role of art institutions, emphasising "hospitality" as one of the keywords, seeking to imbue this term with the idea of open, interested communication and collaboration. The idea of "hospitality" can also serve to characterise the 9th Istanbul Biennial, reflecting the attitude towards the artists, the local setting and the audience.