Curator Fulya Erdemci started the 13th Istanbul Biennial with a weekend of activities called “public alchemy”.
Lectures about the alteration of city landscapes around the globe were shielded by events like a tour around the city of Istanbul guided by Jean Francois Perouse, urbanism expert and director of the French Institute of Anatolian Studies based in Istanbul.
While it was ten days in prior impossible to catch a place on the bus of the tour, the conferences were easier to acess. Teddy Cruz, Professor for Public Culture and Urbanism at the Californian University of San Diego talked about the activities of locvals in San Diego to create alternative urban spaces at the mexican side of the big fence, the US built at the border to prevent illegal migration. He escaped though from questions regarding the sponsors of the Biennial, which annoyed part of the audience.
Does the programme really deserve the description “Rethinking publicness in Istanbul”? This question can be answered in the upcoming month. A lot of postions on urbanisation have been shown already at the Biennials of Vasif Kortun and Charles Esche (2005) and Hou Hanrou (2007). So I am excited about the venues and the artists we are going to see. I liked Cevdet Erek’s performance “İmprovisation” at this introductional panel.
Comment from Eda Gecikmez in Turkish: http://www.inenart.eu/?p=7917&lang=tr