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La Biennale di Venezia

2018

The Pavilion of Turkey at la Biennale di Venezia

Established in 1895, la Biennale di Venezia has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world.

Turkey participated in the International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia for the first time in 1991 with the personal efforts of Beral Madra, and with the contributions of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Beral Madra was the curator and the commissioner of the exhibitions between 1991 and 2001.

In 2003, the Pavilion of Turkey was initiated with a temporary exhibition space rented with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. The first Pavilion of Turkey, curated and commissioned by Beral Madra, presented the exhibition "in Limbo" with the participation of Gül Ilgaz, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Neriman Polat, Nazif Topçuoğlu and Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

In 2005, the video work "Absent Presence" by Hüseyin Çağlayan featuring Tilda Swinton was exhibited in Palazzo Levi, in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 51st International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. The Pavilion was curated by Beral Madra and coordinated by Murat Pilevneli.

Since 2007, the Pavilion of Turkey has been organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, The artist and the curator of the Pavilion are proposed by an Advisory Board that changes every two years.

In 2007, for the 52nd International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, Vasıf Kortun was appointed as the curator of the Pavilion of Turkey and invited Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin to realise a project for the Pavilion. Alptekin’s installation was named “Don’t Complain” and consisted of a series of specific single-cell spaces in a semi-arched form.

For the 53rd edition of la Biennale di Venezia, the Advisory Board selected Başak Şenova’s proposal “Lapses” for the Pavilion of Turkey. “Lapses” has been shaped by two projects: “Exploded City" by Ahmet Öğüt, and "CATALOG 2009" by Banu Cennetoğlu.

At the Pavilion of Turkey in the 54th International Art Exhibition, Ayşe Erkmen represented Turkey with her work "Plan B". The Pavilion of Turkey was curated by Fulya Erdemci, with Danae Mossman as curatorial collaborator.

The Pavilion of Turkey in the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia in 2013 was curated by Emre Baykal who invited Ali Kazma with his work “Resistance”.

In 2014, on the initiation of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and with the gracious support of 21 sponsors, Turkey obtained a long-term venue in la Biennale di Venezia. The allotment of 20 years (from 2014 to 2034) at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, one of the two main venues of the event, allowed the Pavilion of Turkey to take part for the first time in 2014 in the International Architecture Exhibition.

The Pavilion of Turkey at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia that ran from 7 June through 23 November 2014 presented the project Places of Memory, performed by the curator Murat Tabanlıoğlu, the project coordinator Pelin Derviş and the exhibitors Ali Taptık, Alper Derinboğaz, Candaş Şişman, Metehan Özcan and Serkan Taycan.

In 2015, “Respiro” a project by the influential conceptual artist Sarkis, curated by Defne Ayas was presented in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale between 9 May and 22 November 2015.

In 2016, The Pavilion of Turkey at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia featured the project Darzanà. Curated by Feride Çiçekoğlu, Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu and Ertuğ Uçar, with curatorial collaborators Cemal Emden and Namık Erkal, the exhibition team of Darzanà consists of Hüner Aldemir, Caner Bilgin, Hande Ciğerli, Gökçen Erkılıç, Nazlı Tümerdem and Yiğit Yalgın.

For the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, a project entitled Çın by artist Cevdet Erek will be presented at the Pavilion of Turkey to be held between 13 May and 26 November 2017. The Advisory Board consists of artist Ali Kazma, curator at Arter, Başak Doğa Temür; Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Culture and Art Enterprises General Manager Özalp Birol, curator and Art Advisor at Istanbul Modern Museum Paolo Colombo, and Prof. Dr. Zeynep İnankur from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Western and Contemporary Art.

Sponsors of the Pavilion of Turkey

The Pavilion of Turkey is realised under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.

The Pavillion of Turkey in the International Art Exhibition was realised with the sponsorship of Garanti Bank in 2007, while in 2009, İKSV coordinated the pavilion without receiving any sponsorship. Sponsored by Fiat in 2011, 2013 and 2015, the Pavilion of Turkey in the International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia was realised with the production support of SAHA. Initiated in 2007, the Friends of the Pavilion of Turkey Programme has also contributed to the realisation of the pavilion in 2011.

The Pavilion of Turkey in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in 2014 was co-sponsored by Schüco Türkiye and VitrA, with the production support of Häfele. To be organised in 2016, the Pavilion of Turkey in the 15th International Architecture Exhibition will be realised once again with the co-sponsorship of Schüco Türkiye and VitrA, and the production support of Competenza.

The sponsoring persons and institutions that have contributed in providing Turkey with a permanent venue in la Biennale di Venezia include Akbank, Mehveş-Dalınç Arıburnu, Berrak-Nezih Barut, Ali Raif Dinçkök, Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, Füsun-Faruk Eczacıbaşı, Oya-Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Enka Foundation, Nesrin Esirtgen, Eti Gıda San. ve Tic. AŞ, Ahu-Can Has, Öner Kocabeyoğlu, MAÇAKIZI, Tansa Mermerci Ekşioğlu, Polimeks Holding, SAHA Association, Taha Tatlıcı, T. Garanti Bankası AŞ, Vehbi Koç Foundation, Zafer Yıldırım, and Yıldız Holding AŞ.

One of the world’s leading architecture events, the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia will take place on 26 May–25 November, 2018. Following an open-call and a two-stage evaluation, the Selection Committee has determined the project that will be exhibited at the Pavilion of Turkey, under the coordination of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.

Vardiya / The Shift, curated by Kerem Piker, will be presented at the Pavilion of Turkey, in the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. The project has a promise of a broader participation and Cansu Cürgen, Yelta Köm, Nizam Onur Sönmez, Yağız Söylev and Erdem Tüzün are taking part as assistant curators in the project.

The project proposes a spatial organisation for meeting, encountering and architectural production. Departing from the biennale’s theme Freespace, the Pavilion of Turkey welcomes architecture students, who will be hosted by İKSV in shifts, throughout the Biennale Architettura. Following an international open call, undergraduate and graduate students of architecture will be expected to visit the biennale, participate in the designated workshop programmes and contribute to architectural production with using various media. The exhibition content is expected to derive and flourish from this programme of workshops, performances and the participants’ individual contributions in situ, as well.

The Pavilion of Turkey exhibition is coordinated by İKSV, and realised under the co-sponsorship of Schüco Turkey and VitrA, and the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.The Pavilion of Turkey opened at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia in 2014 for the first time, upon a 20-year allotment of the Arsenale with İKSV’s initiation and the contribution of 21 supporters.

The Selection Committee for the Pavilion of Turkey at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia

The Selection Committee chose Vardiya project among the applications made in response to an open-call, after a series of evaluation meetings. The Committee’s members are Prof. Dr. Sibel Bozdoğan, Levent Çalıkoğlu, Prof. Dr. Arzu Erdem, Prof. Dr. Murat Güvenç, Yeşim Hatırlı, Prof. Dr. Süha Özkan and Prof. Dr. Uğur Tanyeli.

The application process ended on 4 August, leaving 31 eligible projects to Committee’s evaluation. Vardiya was chosen among the 3 projects that made their way to the final round completed on Friday, 22 September.

The three projects that passed to the second stage of the selection process all had different and unique positive qualities. For representing Turkey at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, the Committee selected Vardiya, a project by Kerem Piker, due to its competent and authentic spatial construction, and its dynamic and interactive process design that held a promise to change through time and to allow international participation.

Details regarding the Pavilion of Turkey at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia and Vardiya project will be announced in 2018.

KEREM PIKER, curator
Kerem Piker was born in Ankara in 1978. He received his BArch degree in Architecture in 2001 at Istanbul Technical University and his MArch degree in 2004 at TU Delft. In 2010, he was awarded as one of “The Best 40 Architects Under The Age Of 40 in Europe” by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design . He is the winner of many architectural competitions both nationaly and internationaly. In 2016, his design of Akyazı Cultural Center project was awarded by XVth National Architecture Awards, in the category of “Design”. Since 1998, Kerem Piker has taught in architecture schools as a visiting lecturer and juror, including İstanbul Technical University, Yıldız Technical University, Gebze Institute of Technology, Bilgi University and Kültür University. Kerem Piker is the founder of KPM-Kerem Piker Mimarlık, architectural studio.

CANSU CÜRGEN, assistant curator
Architect and scholar. She works in İstanbul Bilgi University and pursues her PhD degree in Istanbul Technical University. Her specific topics of interest are the culture of daily life, open design practices and architectural debates on regulating principles.

YELTA KÖM, assistant curator
Architect, researcher. He has graduated from Städelschule Architecture Class. He lives and produces in Berlin and Istanbul. He is one of the co-founder of the organisation Architecture for All, based in Istanbul. His research areas includes commoning practices, landforms and spatial practices in conflict areas.

NIZAM ONUR SÖNMEZ, assistant curator
Architect and academician. He lives in Istanbul, Turkey and works at Istanbul Technical University. He is also a member of the “off-center”. His research topics include artificial intelligence for design, utopian / visionary / narrative architectures, and personal identity.

YAĞIZ SÖYLEV, assistant curator
Architect. He received his BArch degree in Architecture at Istanbul Technical University in 2014. He lives in Rotterdam, works at TU Delft while continuing his graduate studies. He is interested in common spaces.

ERDEM TÜZÜN, assistant curator
Architect. He lives in New York and works with Eisenman Architects. He is a co-founder of Architecture for All, and independent architecture organization based in Istanbul. He received his BArch degree in Architecture at Istanbul Technical University and MS Arch degree at Pratt Institute. He was presented with the National Architecture Award in Turkey in 2016 with his Giant Machine project.