Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, the 14th Istanbul Biennial enchants art lovers with the artifacts displayed at all four corners of the city and runs until Nov. 1
The 14th Istanbul Biennial has begun revealing the most anticipated exhibitions. This year's biennial intentionally seeks to mess with people's heads. Known as the "uber curator" among the art circle and voted the most influential person in the international art world by the U.K.-based magazine Art Review in 2012, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is responsible for the biennial. Her other exhibition "Documenta (13)" has been featured at exhibits in Canada and Egypt.
As there is a lot of time to see the art works featured in the biennial, you do not need to overwhelm yourselves. From Liam Gillick's work placed on the façade of Istanbul Modern to the mansions in Büyükada, you have enough time to wander around the biennial venues. However, to make your journey easier, we have compiled five exhibitions that you should see before the biennial finishes. I sought the opinions of art authorities and art buffs that have already seen the biennial. The art authorities agreed on each of the works featured as a part of the biennial except the installation on Riva beach, which you may not be able to see. If you have limited time to see the biennial, here are the five artworks that you should see before Nov. 1. Note that the featured photos of these works are the most shared ones on social media.
Biennial Invades Büyükada
No doubt the most shared photo concerning the biennial is the House of Trotsky on Büyükada. Bakargiev decided the House of Trotsky, which Orhan Pamuk has written about, should be the starting point of the biennial as soon as she saw it. We are familiar with Adrian Villar Rojas who is famous with his relatively larger sculptures thanks to his works featured at the 12th Istanbul Biennial. This time his works have popped up in Büyükada. His work "The Most Beautiful Mother of All" is more enchanting when it is viewed closely. This is why the 14th Istanbul Biennial can be a good excuse to take a ferry to the Princes' Islands. These white polyester sculptures are really exciting. Viewers can see artificial creatures made of plant waste and dead animals as well. Understandably, these polyester sculptures have been the most shared biennial pieces on social media platforms.
'Venus of the Rags'
Michelangelo Pistoletto's 1967 "Venus of the Rags" is one of the most talked about art works of the biennial displayed at Istanbul Modern. I recommended you take a photo of it, as it is also among the most favorite biennial art works shared in social media.
Philipson's work features garbage
A high-definition video of Heather Philipson at The House Hotel Galatasaray named "Un/Fit for Feeling" is the next popular work of the biennial. Born in 1978, Philipson uses different materials like basketball hoops, garbage, sandbags, salt crystals, pumps and print.
The Galata Greek Primary School is among the must-see venues. Anna Boghiguan presents a sculpture installation "Salt Traders" comprised of old sailing cloths, drawings, voice records and items related to boating. The installation draws the interest of the audience and perfectly matches the biennial's theme.
Visit a historic hamam
One of the oldest hamams of Istanbul, the Küçük Mustafa Pasha Hamad Hamam should be your next destination. The historical hamam is hosting a film screening by Wael Shawky. Viewers cannot help themselves but share Shawky's work on social media. The artist explores the Arab world through the use of photography, installation and drawings, which has attracted great interest from around the world.