The 13th edition of the Biennial opens on September 14.
Artists Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan will represent Romania at this year’s 13th edition of the Contemporary Art Biennial in Istanbul, that will open on September 14 with the title “Mom, am I a Barbarian”, ICR (the Romanian Cultural Institute) informs.
Every two years, Istanbul becomes the world capital of contemporary art through the Biennial organized by the Art and Culture Foundation of Istanbul – IKSV.
The 13th edition of the Biennial will be open for a month, starting September 14.
This time, the event entitled “Mom, am I a Barbarian” will include Fulyei Erdemci as curator. She is a Turkish artist, art critic and curator, well known and respected in the world of contemporary art, and she currently works in Amsterdam. The theme chosen for this edition explores the ties between poetry, the poetics of space, literature and art.
In this context, the word “barbarian” also refers to the unknown languages one must learn in order to understand “the other” and create “the world to be”. Focusing on the theme of public space as a forum, the exhibition will include works that question current forms of contemporary democracy and examine the notions of “barbarian” and “civilized”. Ultimately, the exhibition will be a reflection on the role of art in today’s public space.
The installation created by the two Romanian artists for this edition of the Biennial will be displayed at the Arter gallery on Istiklal Boulevard, one of the five main locations of the event. The art work entitled “Principiul echitatii” (The equity principle) is a critical analysis of international relations expressed by means of artistic language. The artists were selected following the Biennial curator’s research visit to Bucharest in May 2013, made possible by ICR Istanbul as part of the mobility program.
Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan are co-founders of CIV (the Center for Visual Introspection), an arts center established in 2007. The two artists started working as an arts group in 2010.
Anca Benera has Italian and Ukrainian roots and defines herself as a “product of illegal immigration”, while Estefan is part of the Hungarian minority of Romania. Their works are influenced by personal background and analyze national identity concepts and the official discourse predominant in the public arena. Through their art, they investigate geopolitical strategies, post-national subjectivity, the instability of history and the historical perception on public and private memory.
The Biennial held in Istanbul is one of the most important contemporary art biennials in the world and is considered equal both to the Biennial in Venice and the Biennial in Rio de Janeiro.
ICR Istanbul has been a partner of IKSV since 2009 and has supported Romania’s participation at every edition.