Universes in Universe / Caravan / 8th Istanbul Biennial
URL: http://universes-in-universe.de/car/istanbul/2003/e-panel-discussions.htm

8th Istanbul Biennial, 20 September - 16 November 2003
Press information by the organizer, September 2003

Panel Discussions

Art and Societies in Transition
Saturday, September 20, 13.00-15:00
Mimar Sinan University Faculty of Fine Arts Auditorium, Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi, Fýndýklý

Dunja Blazevic (Director, Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Art, Sarajevo); Esra Ersen (Artist, Ýstanbul); Hou Hanru (Artist, Curator, Critic, Paris); Rosa Martinez (Independent Curator, Barcelona, Curator of the Spanish Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2003)

Moderator: Saskia Bos (Director, De Appel, Amsterdam)

All social and political systems are subject to constant flux, but the past decade has witnessed an unprecedented number of countries undergoing dramatic transitions that in most cases signal the beginning of a gradual transformation from one form of regime to another. Even in cases where the transformation is more economically-based, as in China, the results have quickly become noticeable through the country’s cultural expressions, which in many cases act in a cathartic manner on nations whose political systems are inherently more stable. As it increasingly expands its base of knowledge and practice further afield, the contemporary art world has become more directly engaged in both these artistic developments and the broader changes that trigger them. The discussion will not be limited to such visible examples as Russia, South Africa, Indonesia and the former Yugoslavia, but should allow for a more nuanced, historically-based perspective on the art of countries like China, Turkey and Spain.


Discussions with Philosophers
Saturday, September 20, 17:30-19:30
4 No.’lu Antrepo, Salýpazarý, Karaköy (Entrance is from the gate next to the Mimar Sinan University, Fýndýklý)

Andrea Kuluncic – “Distributive Justice” Project
Neven Petrovic (Philosopher, Zagreb, Croatia); Murat Borovalý (Bilgi University, Department of International Relations and Political Science, Istanbul)


Justice and the Creative Act
Sunday, September 21, 14:00-16:00
Mimar Sinan University Faculty of Fine Arts Auditorium, Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi, Fýndýklý

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Curator and Writer, Chief Curator at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’arte Contemporanea, Rivoli, Torino); Christian Haye (Curator and Art Critic, New York); Vasýf Kortun (Director, Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Ýstanbul); Prof. Ute Meta Bauer (Independent Curator, III. Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, 2003 and Founding Diractor, Office for contemporary Art Norway)

Moderator: Francesco Bonami (Director 50th Exhibition of Visual art of La Biennale di Venezia and Manilow Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA)

This panel examines the often fraught process by which artists step outside the limits of their studio practice and into the turbulent realm of current events. Some of the questions that this situation poses are as follows: to the degree that artists today are engaged by social issues as part of their subject matter, how is this engagement enhanced or compromised by their own creative processes? Does contemporary art’s inherently limited audience prevent it from achieving a more than symbolic role in the way certain issues are framed and articulated for the public at large? If artists do not function within society as direct advocates for certain kinds of political change, how does their work make an impact on the collective conscious-ness? Is it helpful to propose a set of principles by which the creative act functions indirectly, either by influencing a smaller group of enlightened individuals who in turn influence others, or by proposing creativity itself as a metaphor for a broader sense of empowerment?


New Countries-New Identity-New Art*
Monday, September 22, 11:00 - 13:00
Proje 4L -Istanbul Museum of Contemporary Art, Harman Sokak, Harmancý Giz Plaza, Levent

Nigora Akhmetova (Art Critic, Curator of “Asia Art” Tashkent Biennial, Uzbekistan) "Contemporary Art in Uzbekistan”; Muattarhon Bashirova (National Programme Manager for Culture and Art, Swiss Cooperation Office, Tajikistan) "Post-war Situation in Culture of Tajikistan"; Valeria Ibraeva (Director, Soros Center for Contemporary Art, Almaty, Kazakhstan) "Video Art in Kazakhstan"; Muratbek Djumaliev (Artist, Kyrgyzstan) “Kýrgýzistan'da Çaðdaþ Sanat” / “Contemporary Art in Kyrgyzstan”

Moderator: Sabine Vogel (Art Critic, Curator, Berlin)

* This panel has been made possible with support from the Christensen Fund.


The Geopolitics of Culture
Monday, September 22, 14:00-16:00,
Mimar Sinan University Faculty of Fine Arts Auditorium, Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi, Fýndýklý

Tony Bond (Head Curator, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney); Yukie Kamiya (Independent Curator, Tokyo, Japan); Jorge Macchi (Artist, Buenos Aires); Güven Ýncirlioðlu (Artist, xurban.net, Istanbul, Turkey)

Moderator: Eleanor Heartney (Art Critic, New York, USA)

Although the 1990s introduced and expanded upon the principle of global art as a dynamic cultural force, it is no longer clear, either to the audience or the practitioners, what broader changes this principle has initiated. Documenta 11, arguably the first mass exhibition to pursue global art as a goal, was broadly criticized for its conservative view of art from Western Europe and No. America, its neglect of emerging artists, and its avoidance of gender and sexuality-based issues. In the wake of Documenta 11, is it possible that the pursuit of global art has become over-valued at the expense of other critical and cultural priorities? Has geography become an increasingly meaningless indicator of how an artist’s point of view might be embraced by the art world as a whole? Are we in danger of falling into a neo-colonial trap of over-exoticizing the Other without permitting the philosophical implications of global art to challenge and critique our own privileged system of artistic values?


Radical Poetics
Monday, Sept 22, 17:00-19:00,
Mimar Sinan University Faculty of Fine Arts Auditorium, Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi, Fýndýklý

Kutluð Ataman (Artist, Istanbul – Barcelona); Shirin Neshat (Artist, New York, USA), Katerina Gregos (Independent Curator, Athens, Greece); Ralph Rugoff (Director, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts)

Moderator: Gregory Volk (Art Critic, Art in America, New York)

The artist is sometimes characterized as the last of society’s indentured radicals, one who is simultaneously embraced by the global economic system (and unable to produce outside its constraints), while still being expected to remain somewhat aloof from the more dubious aspects of its values. This closing panel discussion is centered on the core issue of how the artist’s work functions as a catalyst for the culture as a whole by proposing creative leaps beyond what is conceivable for the public at large, and somehow making their visions acceptable over time. The topic here is not centered on the range of issues that artists work with, but on the broader cultural role of the artist as a visionary figure. Can art today have a sustainable function outside the framework of the art world? Is it still possible for artists to maintain a radical position despite the increased attention given to art as an extension of a consumerist society?


Simultaneous translations in English-Turkish, Turkish-English available in all panel discussions.

U.S. Participation in the panel discussions has been made possible with support from the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and the American Embassy in Turkey.


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