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12th International İstanbul Biennial image

12th International İstanbul Biennial
17 September - 17 November 2011

The 12th Istanbul Biennial, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and sponsored by Koç Holding, is set for 17 September–13 November 2011, under the curatorship of Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann.

Adriano Pedrosa is the founding director of Programa Independente da Escola São Paulo (PIESP) and Jens Hoffmann, director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco.

The title of the 12th Istanbul Biennial is Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011. The title and the visual identity refer to the work of the Cuban American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Gonzalez-Torres is undoubtedly one of the most important artists of the last 25 years, and his work has been featured in numerous international group and solo shows (including the 5th International Istanbul Biennial in 1997, curated by Rosa Martinez). His minimalist, conceptual, formally innovative works—such as the date pieces, the jigsaw puzzles, the paper stacks, the candy spills, the light-bulb strings, the linguistic portraits, and the photographs—are all about aesthetic form, yet they are also about open-ended content, and they frequently address explicitly political subjects. While Gonzalez-Torres's work will not be displayed in the 12th Istanbul Biennial, his presence will be evoked in numerous subtle ways. Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011 references his particular conventions for titling his work; it also calls attention to a level of communication where language and representation, including names, places, dates, and titles, operate in more abstract and poetic ways. Through his works, Gonzalez-Torres demonstrated that the most successful political moves are ones that do not appear to be political, and that the personal is political and the political is personal.


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