Iconic sculpture to beautify Istanbul sky

Published 16.09.2017 00:00
Ugo Rondinone, “Where Do We Go From Here?”
Ugo Rondinone, “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Held by the Istanbul Foundation of Culture and Arts (İKSV) under the sponsorship of Koç Holding between Sept. 16 and Nov. 12, the Nov. 15, the Istanbul Biennial is getting ready to present a gift to the city with the support of Koç Holding. World famous artist Ugo Rondinone's rainbow sculpture, which was exhibited in Taksim Square in 1999, will be on display at the Mustafa Kemal Culture Center near Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge during the biennial, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

According to an agreement between the Istanbul Biennial and Koç Holding, the sponsor of every biennial from 2007 to 2026, this biennial will kick off the tradition of leaving a permanent work in Istanbul every year. The first surprise of this project is from a colorful and productive figure of the art world, Ugo Rondinone, who participated in the 15th Istanbul Biennial with the neon sculpture "Where Do We Go From Here?" from the series "Rainbow Poems" (1997-2017). Rondinone's rainbow sculpture of neon lights was produced for the 6th Istanbul Biennial in 1999, and was exhibited in Taksim Square 18 years ago. A new arrangement of the work has been installed on the roof of the Mustafa Kemal Culture Center (MKM), one of the most important cultural spaces in Istanbul since 2004, located near Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge.

Rondinone's iconic work "Where Do We Go From Here?" will be on display permanently in Istanbul with support from Koç Holding. This neon sculpture will be on display for the thousands crossing the bridge every day, placing Istanbul among other cities around the world exhibiting Rondinone's work in public areas. Of his work, Randinone said: "My intention is to bring a poetic touch to public spaces through the paradox of a nighttime rainbow."

"Where Do We Go From Here?" aims to inspire thoughts about the future. The colors emerging from darkness represent a positive message and are a herald of hope. Rondinone also references his history in the city and the biennial through this installation, which wasfirst exhibited in the beginning of his career 18 years ago.


Born in 1964 in Switzerland, Ugo Rondinone graduated from Vienna Applied Arts University in 1990. Having won various awards through his career, his works concentrate on themes such as desire, longing and conception. He currently continues to work in New York by creating mixed-media installations, including sculpture, painting, video, sound and photography. Implying the monotony of everyday life and activities in many of his works, Rondinone forms reality in a poetic style. His work can be found in many art institutions including The Garage in Moscow, Place Vendome in Paris, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. He was given the Honorary Award by the Bomb Benefit Gala in 2015.

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