13th Istanbul Biennial /

13th Istanbul Biennial

On September 14 the 13th edition of the Istanbul Biennial
was opened, titled: ‘Anne, ben barbar mıyım?’* (Mom, am I
barbarian?). The focal point of this Biennial will be the notion
of the public domain as a political forum. It questions what is
considered barbarian or civilized in the public domain.
In response to the protests around Gezi Park, curator Fulya
Erdemci has shifted the focus beyond public space, towards
the public.

In the design concept, we wanted to reflect the politically and
socially engaged concept with a strongly articulated visual
language. Since the Biennial will be presented as an exhibition
in a dialogue with the city, this open character should be
reflected in the the design, allowing dialogue and change
while building up towards the exhibition. The design concept
uses opposing ideas and content to create spaces of conflict
and consensus. The Biennial’s conceptual framework uses
opposing concepts such as barbarity versus citizenship,
and private versus public, in relation to the public domain.
Since many items are bilingual, Turkish and English text are
in conflict in the same space; invading, circumventing and
colliding with each other. Formal and informal typography
are used interchangeably to question the stereotype of the
barbarian. The content creates fault lines in the design, much
like borders of countries and neighbourhoods are drawn by
conflict and consensus. Over time, the design will create new
geographies of ideas and activities.

  • Project Credits
    • Art Directors: Ruben Pater
    • Creative Directors: Hans Wolbers
    • Designers: Ruben Pater
    • Project Client: Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
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