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VENICE BIENNALE

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 will be presented in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale between 9 May and 22 November 2015.

The Advisory Board of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 56th International Art Exhibition consists of the artist Ali Kazma, Burcu Pelvanoğlu, associate professor of Art History at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts; Cristiana Perrella, independent curator and art critic; curator Lewis Johnson, and Zerrin İren Boynudelik, Yıldız Technical University art and design faculty member.

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.

In 2007, the Pavilion of Turkey was realised with the sponsorship of Garanti Bank while in 2009, İKSV coordinated the pavilion without receiving any sponsorship. The Friends of the Pavilion of Turkey Programme initiated in 2007 has also contributed to the realisation of the Pavilion in 2011. Fiat has become the sponsor of the Pavilion of Turkey in 2011, and continued its support in 2013 and 2015. SAHA Association has given production support of the Pavilion in 2013 and 2015. In 2015, Mehveş and Dalınç Arıburnu also provided production support.

The Pavilion of Turkey at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in 2014 was co-sponsored by Schüco Türkiye and VitrA, with the production support of Häfele.

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.