• Ugo Rondinone, Where Do We Go from Here?, 1999/2017, neon, Perspex, translucent film, aluminum. From the series “Rainbow Poems,” 1997–2017. Installation view, Mustafa Kemal Cultural Centre, Istanbul. Photo: Onur Dogman.

    the 15th Istanbul Biennial

    Various Venues

    THIS FALL, as the Fifteenth Istanbul Biennial opened in my hometown, art’s resilience was evident—lustrous, even, in the face of negative expectations, populist politics, and outside speculations that an oppressive state would hinder free expression, or that Istanbul would be a dangerous place to visit. The biennial also transcended trends, moving beyond unwieldy constructions of political correctness and pushing against airless conceptions of the exhibition as a curator’s stronghold. Intimately political works proved to be accessible, and person-to-person communication was encouraged, as

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