Istanbul

Ozan Atalan, Monochrome (detail), 2019, still from the 5-minute color HD video component of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising a second 5-minute color HD video, concrete, soil, water, and a buffalo skeleton. Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum (Antrepot 5). From the 16th Istanbul Biennial.

Ozan Atalan, Monochrome (detail), 2019, still from the 5-minute color HD video component of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising a second 5-minute color HD video, concrete, soil, water, and a buffalo skeleton. Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum (Antrepot 5). From the 16th Istanbul Biennial.

16th Istanbul Biennial

Various Venues

Ozan Atalan, Monochrome (detail), 2019, still from the 5-minute color HD video component of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising a second 5-minute color HD video, concrete, soil, water, and a buffalo skeleton. Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum (Antrepot 5). From the 16th Istanbul Biennial.

THE EIGHTH ISTANBUL BIENNIAL was titled “Poetic Justice.” Sixteen years on, the latest edition might as well have returned to that title. Roughly a month before the opening, a press release from the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) appeared in my inbox, somberly announcing the loss of the biennial’s main venue, the Haliç Shipyards, “due to the delay of the construction process . . . and the need to complete the disposal of asbestos materials determined to be present.” After lending its prestige to a real-estate project that threatens to destroy invaluable living and material cultural heritage, the mega-exhibition had been expelled from the site it had helped to legitimize. Splendidly situated on the Golden Horn, with sweeping views of the peninsular Old City, the nearly six-hundred-year-old Haliç complex would have been back in the public eye for the first time in

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.