the 9th International Istanbul Biennial

Various Venues

In the face of the remarkable glut of biennials that attends the current evolution of globalization in art, a number of questions still remain unanswered: To what degree does the biennial act as a force of transnational gentrification, creating a market of elite consumer goods and rarified experience in far-flung places (often playing on earlier avant-garde tropes of exoticism) in order to tender the ground for the subsequent onslaught of corporate imperialism? How might the biennial function as a vehicle for a city’s self-promotion—as a quick fix to generate marketable uniqueness through cultural capital and thereby attract tourist dollars and foreign investment? Conversely, how might these exhibitions operate positively as engines of diversification, placing disparate cultures in contact in order not to level differences but to increase our sensitivity to them, facilitating substantive

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