16th Istanbul Biennial: An Artistic Journey To The 7th Continent

16th Istanbul Biennial

The 16th Istanbul Biennial, which we look forward to every year, opened its doors to bring together 57 artists and artist collectives from 26 countries with art lovers this year. The theme of the biennial, which is curated by French writer and academic Nicolas Bourriaud is the Seventh Continent. The Biennial can be visited until 10 November,

The Seventh Continent, as it is called in popular science, is a huge pile of waste weighing 7 million tons, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I visited the Biennial, which attracted my attention more than ever due to its theme this year, and I wanted to share with you the installations that impressed me the most!

16th Istanbul Biennial

Seventh Continent

One of the most striking works of the biennial, which spanned three venues this year, MSGSU Istanbul, Painting and Sculpture Museum, Pera Museum, and Büyükada, was undoubtedly the section titled “No Escape in Underwater Noise”. In this episode, I learned that with the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the internal combustion engine, we human beings took the first steps towards becoming the loudest creature on the planet. Since we do not spend our lives underwater, we are not aware of the noise pollution we have created with our own hands for a long time. However, unlike us, sea creatures that live underwater are well aware of this situation. So much so that this noise pollution prevents them from communicating with each other, causing them to lose their way in their living spaces.

With the 16th Istanbul Biennial, in this section, I had the opportunity to listen to the noise pollution, which I am sure I had more or less a share in. What it's like to have to live in the midst of this rasp and annoying noise, while it was overwhelming to experience even for a minute.

16th Istanbul Biennial

16th Istanbul Biennial: Highlights

Ozan Atalan's work, which you see above, connects the fact that civilization grows without borders and the fact that it ignores nature while doing so. In line with this purpose, the installation named “Monochrome”, which focuses on the new Istanbul airport and the third bridge to be built on the Bosphorus thus deals with the destruction of buffalo habitats in Istanbul. The sculpture in the room is a real buffalo skeleton on a concrete platform poured on the ground. The preference for concrete, which constitutes 5% of annual carbon emissions, is therefore very significant. In my opinion, Atalan draws attention to the contrast between the artificial and the natural, emphasizing how the construction craze violates the right of the life of other species.

16th Istanbul Biennial

This work that I will talk about is a world in itself. It all begins when the creator of the installation, Simon Fujiwara, discovers a large number of completely worn pop iconic figures in the trash can of an amusement park manufacturer near Istanbul, and the foundations for his "World Is Too Small" for the biennial are laid. Through the 13 architectural models he has put together, he draws attention to the fantasy worlds that take place in our daily lives and our urge to escape from reality. We, who are trying to get rid of the realities of capitalism through the worlds created by capitalism, this time by using popular culture icons, are the main focus of criticism of this installation. The work leaves visitors with only one question in mind: is escape possible, or are we the ones who get into an ever-greater circular impasse when we think we've escaped?

16th Istanbul Biennial

Another work that impressed me the most during my visit to the 16th Istanbul Biennial was Elmas Deniz's work, which shows today's geography, which has been changed by man, and the destruction of nature. The first of two works by Deniz to reflect the history and future of water-related disappearing streams is a three-dimensional topographical relief covering the region of Istanbul from Şişli to Taksim Square. In the relief, the river and stream beds, which are now dry and unfortunately, the roads over which the roads pass, are marked. The second work focuses on a stream near Bergama, where the artist grew up. Deniz, who found the stream she loved very much in her childhood, dried up the next time she went, paints the living species that no longer exist there.

16th Istanbul Biennial

Finally, I would like to talk about Müge Yılmaz's installation called "Eleven Suns", which we can define as an archeology of the future. Yilmaz; Using the iconography of caves, temples, and altars of the past and hybrid plant-human-animal drawings, she reflects the ruins she imagines will be in the future. Although I saw in this portrait of the future drawn by Yılmaz that the continuity of our species as human beings was not ensured, it was extremely striking to me that the plastic waste we left behind, starting today, was still designed as a part of life. We always say that even a single plastic bottle we leave to nature will continue to exist and harm nature 1000 years after us. Do you think it's worth it?

You can start this business simply by leaving the plastic bottles you drink. It is possible to reduce the waste you leave behind by using a SuCo flask. Imagine how big of waste the world will get rid of if you integrate the detox flask and water bottles culture into your life!

The 16th Istanbul Biennial has been a great experience for me this year, as it is every year, in which I questioned important concepts and concepts in-depth, learned a lot, and felt that my awareness increased. The 16th Istanbul Biennial is open to visitors until 10 November. Have a nice tour!

In this article, we talked about 16th Istanbul Biennial: An Artistic Journey To The 7th Continent. In our previous article: https://suco.uk/blogs/news/straws-they-are-small-their-effect-on-nature-is-huge

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