International Projects


The Pavilion of Turkey in the Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 370,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition.
Turkey is participating in the Venice Biennale since 1991. Until 2003, there had been different exhibitions and installations exhibited in different spaces of the Biennale as co-lateral events.

In 2003, the first Pavilion of Turkey was inaugurated with the exhibition "in Limbo" with the participation of Gül Ilgaz, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Neriman Polat, Nazif Topçuoğlu and Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Beral Madra was the curator and the commissioner of the exhibition.

For the Pavilion of Turkey in the 51st International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, 2005, the video work "Absent Presence" by Hüseyin Çağlayan was exhibited in Palazzo Levi. The Pavilion was curated by Beral Madra and coordinated by Murat Pilevneli.

Since 2007, the Pavilion of Turkey is located in the Artiglierie building of the Arsenale and is organised by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), supported by a main sponsor institution and realised under the auspices of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the contribution of the Promotion Fund of the Turkish Prime Ministry. In 2007 the Pavilion of Turkey was realised with the sponsorhip of Garanti Bank and in 2009 IKSV coordinated the pavilion without any sponsors. In 2011 FIAT supported the Pavilion of Turkey as the sponsor, which will continue in 2013.

"The Friends of the Pavilion of Turkey" that has started in 2007 is also contributing to the realisation of the pavilion. The Advisory Committee, which changes every two years, nominates a curator who invites the artist(s) for the upcoming edition.

For the 52nd Venice Biennale, 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 the Biennale, the Advisory Committee selected Başak Şenova’s proposal “Lapses” to represent Turkey. “Lapses” has been shaped by the projects that demonstrate how the perception of “occurring events” can vary and lead to the differing narrations of history because of 'lapses' in collective memory and consisted of two projects: “Exploded City" by Ahmet Öğüt, and "CATALOG 2009" by Banu Cennetoğlu.

In 2013, for the Pavilion of Turkey at the 54th International Art Exhibition Fulya Erdemci was the curator and she invited Ayşe Erkmen to exhibit the site specific installation “Plan B”.

The Pavilion of Turkey in the 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale in 2013 was curated by Emre Baykal. Baykal invited Ali Kazma who represented Turkey with his work “Resistance”.

In 2014, on the initiation of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and with the gracious contribution of 21 supporters, Turkey obtained a long-term venue in the Biennale di Venezia. The allotment of 20 years (from 2014 to 2034) at Arsenale, one of the two main venues of the exhibition, allows the Pavilion of Turkey to take part for the first time this year in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. The Pavilion of Turkey at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia that runs from 7 June through to 23 November presents the project Places of Memory, performed by the curator Murat Tabanlıoğlu, the project coordinator Pelin Derviş and a team of exhibitors, Alper Derinboğaz, Metehan Özcan, Candaş Şişman, Ali Taptık and Serkan Taycan.