121009: Istanbul Biennial: Branch Beriköy Rum Okulu

Istanbul Biennial: Branch Beriköy Rum Okulu In the school of social studies The members of the Croatian group of curators, WHW, Ivet Curlin, Ana Dvic, Natasa Ilic and Sabina Sabolovic, designed the Istanbul Biennial outposts in a decidedly functional way with only a few drops of irony or ease. The displayed works and installations are linked to different forms of documentations, thereby bringing diverse visual strategies into play. In the closed down school building Feriköy Rum Okulu in the northern district of Sisli, close to a throughway, where humans and cars pass each other in slow motion, this culminates in approaches with methods of cartography. Remarkable: the room in which works by the group decolonizing.ps, led by the Israeli artist Eyal Weizmann, are presented. The military limitations imposed on the Palestinian’s living space are the central theme displayed in the large-format, heavy books by means of photographs, drawings as well as maps, projections, and a video. By way of newspaper clippings and organization charts transposed into chalk drawings on blackboards, Lado Darakhvelidze describes the current transformation of political structures in Georgia in view of the network of international economic relations. The setting in a former school building constructs a didactic monotonous staging, which is only broken up through the slide projections by the Polish duo Kwie Kulik (Przemyslaw Kwiek, Zofia Kulik) created in the 70’s. In a series of slides, Kwie Kulik’s son is shown over a range of years as a child thrown into existence and photographed in trivial household surroundings. This actionist irritation points to the attempt of the curators to constitute a general context by way of a linguistic operation. Igor Grubic (Hungary) also refers to geographical and state-driven frameworks when he focuses on the violent assaults on the first Gay Pride celebrations in the newly formed states of Serbia and Croatia. By including the gender topic, it then also becomes plausible why works of the Body Art artist Michel Journiac are displayed. All in all, there is little play; rather the recollection of the social realities of the outside world. Here, in a former school building in the immediate periphery of a compact district, bordering on a near standstill. Irritating? Maybe. Since the Istanbul Biennial almost appears with a wagging finger. But only almost. Because, seen from a different angle, the exhibition keeps its seriousness, without fraying. By Roland Schöny Istanbul Biennial Istanbul, until 08.11.09 www.iksv.org/bienal11/

Istanbul Biennale

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