Organized by the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, the 11th International İstanbul Biennial (September 12-November 8, 2009) is curated by What, How and for Whom/WHW. The exhibition is entitled “What Keeps Mankind Alive?,” the English translation of the song “Denn wovon lebt der Mensch?” from The Threepenny Opera, written in 1928 by Bertolt Brecht, in collaboration with Elisabeth Hauptmann and Kurt Weill. The Threepenny Opera thematizes the process of redistribution of ownership within bourgeois society and sheds an unforgiving light on various elements of capitalist ideology.
Brecht’s assertion from this play that “a criminal is a bourgeois and a bourgeois is a criminal” is as true as ever, and the correspondences of rapid developments of liberal economy on disintegration of hitherto existing social consensus in 1928 and in present times are striking. The concept of the Biennial proposes not to go back to Brecht as a classic that needs to be rediscovered and shown to new generations, but rather to reflect on latencies of the past in the present and investigate possibilities of art to re-examine old and open new relationships between social engagement and aesthetic gesture.
Jumana Emil Abboud, Vyacheslav Akhunov, Mounira Al Solh, Nevin Aladağ, Doa Aly, Karen Andreassian, Yüksel Arslan, Zanny Begg, Lida Blinova, Anna Boghiguian, KP Brehmer, Bureau d’études, Cengiz Çekil, Danica Dakic, Lado Darakhvelidze, decolonizing.ps (by Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti, Eyal Weizman), Natalya Dyu, Rena Effendi, Işıl Eğrikavuk, Etcétera…, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Shahab Fotouhi, İnci Furni, Igor Grubic, Nilbar Güreş, Margaret Harrison, Sharon Hayes, Vlatka Horvat, Wafa Hourani, Hamlet Hovsepian, Sanja Ivekovic, Donghwan Jo & Haejun Jo, Jesse Jones, Alimjan Jorobaev, Michel Journiac, KwieKulik (presented by Zofia Kulik), Sinisa Labrovic, Signs of Conflict: Political Posters of Lebanon’s Civil War (a project by Zeina Maasri), David Maljkovic, Marwan, Avi Mograbi, Rabih Mroué, Aydan Murtezaoğlu &Bülent Şangar, Museum of American Art-Belgrade, Marina Naprushkina, Deimantas Narkevicius, Ioana Nemes, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Mohammad Oussama, Erkan Özgen, Trevor Paglen, Nam June Paik, Marko Peljhan, Darinka Pop-Mitic, Lisi Raskin, María Ruido, Larissa Sansour, Hrair Sarkissian, Ruti Sela &Maayan Amir, Canan Şenol, Société Réaliste, Mladen Stilinovic, Tamás St.Auby, Jinoos Taghizadeh, Oraib Toukan, Vangelis Vlahos, Simon Wachsmuth, Artur Zmijewski, What is to be done / Chto delat?
Antrepo No.3, Karaköy
Feriköy Greek School, Şişli
Tütün Deposu (Tobacco Warehouse), Tophane
Professional Preview: September 10–11, 2009
Press Conference: September 10, 2009 > 10.00
International İstanbul Biennial
İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
İstiklal Caddesi 64 Beyoğlu 34435
T: +90 212 334 07 63
F: +90 212 334 07 18
Image of artist Hamra Abbas preparing work at Antrepo No.3 for the 2007 Istanbul Biennial. Courtesy of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts