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La Biennale di Venezia

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

Led by Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu, Ertuğ Uçar, and Feride Çiçekoğlu with the support of Namık Erkal and Cemal Emden, and created by the team composed of Hüner Aldemir, Hande Ciğerli, Gökçen Erkılıç, Nazlı Tümerdem and Yiğit Yalgın, the project entitled Darzanà will be exhibited in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, to beheld between May 28 – 27 November, 2016.

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.

The Pavillion of Turkey in the International Art Exhibition was realised with the sponsorship of Garanti Bank in 2007, while in 2009, İKSV coordinated the pavilion without receiving any sponsorship. Sponsored by Fiat in 2011, 2013 and 2015, the Pavilion of Turkey in the International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia was realised with the production support of SAHA. Initiated in 2007, the Friends of the Pavilion of Turkey Programme has also contributed to the realisation of the pavilion in 2011.

The Pavilion of Turkey in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in 2014 was co-sponsored by Schüco Türkiye and VitrA, with the production support of Häfele. To be organised in 2016, the Pavilion of Turkey in the 15th International Architecture Exhibition will be realised once again with the co-sponsorship of Schüco Türkiye and VitrA, and the production support of Competenza.

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.

The Pavilion of Turkey at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia (28 May-27 November 2016) will feature the project Darzanà. Curated by Feride Çiçekoğlu, Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu and Ertuğ Uçar, with curatorial collaborators Cemal Emden and Namık Erkal, the exhibition team of Darzanà consists of Hüner Aldemir, Caner Bilgin, Hande Ciğerli, Gökçen Erkılıç, Nazlı Tümerdem and Yiğit Yalgın. The Pavilion of Turkey, coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and co-sponsored by Schüco Turkey and VitrA, is located at the Sale d’Armi, Arsenale.

Central to the concept behind Darzanà is the common cultural heritage shared between Istanbul and Venice arsenals, reflecting the trails found in language and architecture on future projections. The title of the project Darzanà shares the same origin with the Turkish word tersane and the Italian word arsenale. For the Biennale, a last vessel, a baştarda will be constructed out of waste materials in Istanbul and transported to Venice to complete the connection between the cities.

Inspired by the Mediterranean’s once twin harbours of Venice and Istanbul, the project’s title comes from the word Darzanà, meaning an inlet used for building ships in Ancient Greek, Latin, Jewish, Arabic, and Turkish cultures. The project aims to confront the Arsenale and the historic Istanbul shipyards at the biennial, carrying the Istanbul dock and its accompanying historic associations, exchanges, discussions, similarities, and visions of the future to a shipyard in Venice.

The Pavilion of Turkey exhibition is coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, and realised under the co-sponsorship of Schüco Turkey and VitrA, and the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.

The Pavilion of Turkey opened at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia in 2014 for the first time, upon a 20-year allotment of the Arsenale with İKSV’s initiation and the contribution of 21 supporters.

The Selection Committee for the Pavilion of Turkey at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia

The selection committee chose the Darzanà project among the applications made in response to an open-call, after a series of assemblies. The application process ended on 23 October, leaving 36 eligible projects to committee’s evaluation. Darzanà was chosen among the 9 projects that made their way to the final round completed on Friday, 11 December. Among the committee’s members are Prof. Dr. Sibel Bozdoğan, Head of the Architecture Department at Kadir Has University’s Faculty of Art and Design, and Faculty Member at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD); Levent Çalıkoğlu, Director of Istanbul Modern, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art; Prof. Dr. Arzu Erdem, Dean of Faculty of Architecture at Abdullah Gül University; Prof. Dr. Murat Güvenç, Director of the Istanbul Studies Centre at Kadir Has University and Faculty Member at Kadir Has University’s Faculty of Economic Administrative and Social Sciences, Political Science and Public Administration; Yeşim Hatırlı, Founding Partner of Hatırlı Architecture Co. Ltd., Member of the Turkish Association of Architecture in Private Practice, and Visiting Lecturer at the Middle East Technical University’s Department of Architecture; Prof. Dr. Süha Özkan, Founding President of the International Union of Architects; and Prof. Dr. Uğur Tanyeli, Dean of Bilgi University’s Faculty of Architecture.

Please click here for the theme and here for the press release.

Mehmet V. KÜTÜKÇÜOĞLU
Mehmet V. Kütükçüoğlu was born in Zurich in 1967. He graduated from the Middle East Technical University’s (METU) Faculty of Architecture in 1989, and completed his graduate work, which he began in Switzerland that same year, at the SCI-ARC School of Architecture in Los Angeles in 1992. He worked with various architects before returning to Turkey in 1993, including Calatrava, Wagner in Switzerland, and Gehry, Johnsons & Favaro in the U.S. He has been pursuing his professional career as a partner at TEGET Architecture since 1996. Alongside his professional output, Kütükçüoğlu has also lectured at SCI-ARC, METU, Yıldız Technical University, and Istanbul Technical University as part of his academic career. He was also a studio coordinator and is a member of the Board of Directors of Istanbul Bilgi University’s Master’s Programme in Architecture. His articles on the city, its relationship with architecture, and the architecture profession have been published in various media. He continues his professional work as a partner at TEGET, with projects such as the Istanbul Naval Museum, the Izmir Opera House, and the Yapı Kredi Cultural Centre in Galatasaray.

Ertuğ UÇAR
Ertuğ Uçar was born in Antalya in 1971. After completing Antalya High School, he graduated from the Middle East Technical University’s (METU) Faculty of Architecture in 1993. He completed his master’s degree in 1999 in the same department and received awards at both national and international competitions. He writes for trade publications as well as popular periodicals, and has also published two books of short stories entitled Rüya Arızaları (Dream Defects) and Yalnızlığın 17 Türü (17 Kinds of Loneliness). He worked in architects’ offices in Antalya, Ankara, and Istanbul from 1993 to 1999 and is currently continuing his professional career at TEGET, where he is a partner. During the spring semesters of 2006-2007, he was a coordinator at Yıldız Technical University and Istanbul Technical University Architectural Design studios. He has curated exhibitions, including the second exhibition of VitrA Contemporary Architecture Series, Lütfen Rahatsız Etmeyin (Please Do Not Disturb) and designed Istatistiklal exhibitions at ZKM Karlsruhe and Siemens Art. He is currently continuing his professional career as a partner at TEGET, with projects such as the Istanbul Naval Museum, the Izmir Opera House, and the Yapı Kredi Cultural Centre in Galatasaray.

Feride Çiçekoğlu
After receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the METU Faculty of Architecture, Feride Çiçekoğlu earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. Following her doctoral thesis criticising Philadelphia’s urban renewal, her academic career, which she began in Turkey in the field of architecture, was interrupted by the military coup of September 12, 1980. Her first book Uçurtmayı Vurmasınlar (Don’t Let Them Shoot the Kite), which was based on the memories of her four years in prison, also formed the basis for her first script. The film’s success steered Çiçekoğlu towards cinema, and in addition to screenwriting, she also became a professor, building an academic career in the field. In addition to numerous short stories, she wrote the screenplays of Umuda Yolculuk (Journey of Hope, Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 1991) and Kumun Tadı (Seaburners, Berlin Film Festival, 2014). Maintaining her connection to architecture, Çiçekoğlu focused on the relationship between cinema and the city. From 1995 to 1999, she undertook the role of executive editor for the History Foundation’s Istanbul magazine. Her books Vesikalı Şehir (Whore of a City, 2007, Metis) and Şehrin İtirazı (The City’s Objection, 2015, Metis) focus on the representations of Istanbul in film. She is still a faculty member at Istanbul Bilgi University’s Department of Film and Television.

Please click here for the other biographies.

2015

Please click here for the website of the Turkish Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

2014

Please click here for the website of the Turkish Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

2013

Please click here for the website of the Turkish Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

2011

Please click here for the website of the Turkish Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

2009

Please click here for the website of the Turkish Pavilion at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

2007

Please click here for the website of the Turkish Pavilion at the 52nd International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.