February 13, 2011

Istanbul Biennial

It has being one year since the Brazilian Curator, Adriano Pedrosa, goes to Istambul (Turkey) for a week every month. From Istanbul, he goes to Jerusalem, Beirute, Chile, Peru, Callamallah, Buenos Aires, Ramallah and, sometimes, he comes to Sao Paulo (Brazil). Adriano works as the 12 Istambul Biennial curator which will take place from 17th of September until 13th of Novmber 2011.

One curious fact is that, since 1997, the Istanbul Biennial does not incorporates the regional quota structure being one of the first Biennials to abolish the representations by nations. The quota was also abolished by the Sao Paulo Bianniel in 2006, but Venice's still adopts it. A second fun fact is that the Istanbul Biennial was the first to invite a non-european professional to its command in 2001, the Japonese Yuko Haseqawa. And for the first time, in 2011, it also invited latin-americans curators: Adriano Pedrosa (Brazil) and Jens Hoffmann (Costa Rica).

As installed for The Museum of Modern Art, New York
"Projects 34: Felix Gonzalez-Torres"
May 16 - June 30, 1992, in 24 locations throughout New York City

The 12 Istanbul Biennial called Untitled will be inspired in the Cuban artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who used not to give name to his pieces (like the one above). Pedrosa and Hoffmann's objetive is to rescue the conceptual and formal aspects of the political art. The Biennial will have 5 sections inspired in Gonzalez-Torres's pieces (notice that the pieces will not be physically at the exhibition), 5 small collective and 45 individual exhibitions carefully thought and disposed by the Japanese architecture Ryue Nishizawa - winner of the Pritzer Prize 2010.

Pedrosa and Hoffmann want to erase any connection the Biennal has with an especifc theme, that way the names of the exhibitors / artists will only be announced when the event starts. According to Pedrosa there is a pervese number of Biennials taking place nowadays which are consumed by its name, its artists and curators. His intention now is for the Istanbul Biennial not to be consumed, but only appreciated and seen.

Pedrosa does not announce the participants' names, but he does tell us the Brazilian artists that will participate in the 12 Biennial: Leonilson, Jonathas de Andrade, Rosangela Renno and Renata Lucas.

During his visits to Latin-America, Adriano tries to raise funds to finance the artists' participation in the Biennals. The Sao Paulo Biennal had 30 million reais (1 dollar is currently 1.7 reais) in funds. He mentions that his next stop is Brasilia, Brazil's capital. Adriano notices that the Peruan Govern never financed his artists and he hopes it finances Flavia Gandolfo this time.

Pedrosa says that the biennial does not have a lot of money, but it is giving the curators lots of time and freedom, allowing them to pick the frames and take the artists by their hands.

I bet it will be a good event!



Adriano Pedrosa
Adriano Pedrosa, born in 1965 in Rio de Janeiro, is an independent curator, editor and writer based in São Paulo. He has published in Artforum (New York), Art Nexus (Bogota), Art+Text (Sydney), Tate etc (London), Exit (Madrid), and Frieze (London), among others. Pedrosa curated F[r]icciones (with Ivo Mesquita, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2000), was adjunct curator and editor of publications of the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo (1998), co-curator and co-editor of publications of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo (2006), curator of Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte (2001-2003), curator of InSite_05, San Diego/Tijuana (2005), curator of 31st Panorama da Arte Brasileira (Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, 2009), and artistic director of the 2nd Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan (2009). He was a juror of the UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of the Arts (Istanbul Biennial, 2001), of the Prêmio EDP Novos Artistas (Museu Serralves, Porto, 2003), and of the Hugo Boss Prize (Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2004). Pedrosa is on the editorial board of The Exhibitionist: A Journal for Exhibition Making and is the founding director of Programa Independente da Escola São Paulo—PIESP.

Jens Hoffmann
Jens Hoffmann, born in 1974 in San José, Costa Rica, is a writer and curator of exhibitions based in San Francisco where he is the Director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. Hoffmann has worked for a number of art institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; KIASMA -- Museum for Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; The Hugh Lane Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; DIA Center for the Arts, New York, Kunstverein in Hamburg; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles; Museum Kunst-Palast, Düsseldorf as well as for exhibitions such as Documenta X (1997), the 1st Berlin Biennial (1998), and the 9th Lyon Biennial (2007). He was the Director of Exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (2003--2007) and co-curator of the 2nd Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan (2009). He is currently co-curating, with Harrell Fletcher, the 1st People's Biennial, taking place in five US museums in 2010. Hoffmann is senior lecturer at the Curatorial Practice Program of the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, a guest professor at the Nova Academia di Bella Arti in Milan and an adjunct faculty member of the Curatorial Studies Program of Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the founding editor of The Exhibitionist: A Journal on Exhibition Making.
The curators of the 12th International Istanbul Biennial were appointed by the Advisory Board of the International Istanbul Biennial. The advisory board consists of the artistic director of dOCUMENTA (13) Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, contemporary artist Ayşe Erkmen, art consultant Melih Fereli, director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and chair of the Exhibitions and Museum Studies Program at San Francisco Art Institute Hou Hanru and director of the Sharjah Art Foundation and Al-Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem Jack Persekian.
The conceptual framework of the 12th International Istanbul Biennial will be announced by a press conference to be held in autumn 2010 by the curators; Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann.

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