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  • Aug 08, 2019

Istanbul Biennial to Shift Sites Due to Construction Delay

*Last updated August 16, 2019.


On August 7, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) announced that the section of the 2019 Istanbul Biennial originally planned for display at the Istanbul Shipyards will be moved to another venue in the city. The İKSV explained that the last-minute relocation is due to the delay of the construction process at the Istanbul Shipyards, and the discovery of toxic asbestos materials that need to be disposed from the site. 

The Istanbul Shipyards were slated to host the majority of the Biennial’s works, including a number of heavyweight commissions. Located in Istanbul’s Golden Horn harbor area, the Shipyards have a 600-year history. Owing to technological advancements that enabled ships to be constructed and repaired elsewhere, however, the site was abandoned a decade ago, and had been closed to the public since. The Biennial would have been the first ever public event to take place at the Shipyards.

On August 15, İKSV revealed that the replacement venue will be Antrepo 5, a 17,700-square-meter space located in the Tophane district. Formerly a warehouse, Antrepo 5 has been remodelled into an art space, and will house the painting and sculpture collection of the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum, beginning in 2020. 

The Biennial’s two other locations, Pera Museum, in the city center; and Büyükada Island, the largest of the Princes’ Islands, accessible from the mainland via an approximately one-hour ferry ride, will host parts of the event as planned. 

Titled “The Seventh Continent,” the 2019 Biennial is curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, and will include 57 artists and collectives. It is scheduled to open to the public on September 14, and will run until November 10.

Cassie Liu is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

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