Istanbul Biennial


17 Sep - 30 Oct 1999

6th International İstanbul Biennial 1999
17 September - 30 October
Curator: Paolo Colombo

In a world that is moving more and more toward globalization, one consistently notices a powerful undercurrent that draws large segments of the world population towards an affirmation of individual identity and of specific perspectives. The sweeping utopias of the 70's and the belief in the 80's in a society of limitless growth, have given way to a new scepticism about overtly assertive artistic gestures and their ability to make significant and durable marks on an ever-shifting social texture.

Rather than an avowal of defeat, this attitude resulted in the opening of new ways of expression. In recent years, artists have employed strategies born as much from the global highway as from traditional artistic method in order to express their personal points of view. As a consequence, the overriding presence of the media and of new technologies, have forced many artists to return to the primacy of the image, not as a nostalgic vector for ideas within a pictorial tradition, but as part of an easily transmissible and readable visual text, free from the necessities of space that characterised much of the installation art of the past decade.

Breaking borders between high and low art, and hierarchies between different art categories and genres, artists today have created a fertile field for discussion of subjects as diverse as psychological disorders and political activism. The lack of a domineering ideology has spawned a wide array of responses, all characterised by a highly personal take on the challenges of the present.

In this framework, "The Passion and the Wave" will raise the question of the significance of personal histories and of the weight of emotional investment in the contemporary world, as a growing number of artists offer us poetic catharsis rather than pragmatic solutions to political and social problems.

As in all events that aim to capture a given moment in time, this exhibition will reflect the consciousness of our own contemporaneity: the rapid changes, the technological advances, the clash of cultures and the melting of borders that are central to our experience of the world. But as it holds up a mirror to the present, it will also probe the emotional pulse of art, through the gage of the intensely personal and image-oriented works that have come to dominate the artistic landscape today.


Mutlu Çerkez - Australia
Iran Do Espírito Santo - Brazil
Janet Cardiff &
George Bures Miller - Canada
Liang Shaoji - China
Pedro Alvarez - Cuba
Elina Brotherus - Finland
Nadia Berkani - France / Algeria
Vidya Gastaldon &
Jean-Michel Wicker - France
Malick Sidibe - France / Mali
Lukas Duwenhögger - Germany
Carsten Höller - Germany
Rosemarie Trockel - Germany
Christina Dimitriadis - Greece
Csaba Nemes - Hungary
Manisha Parekh - India
Avish Khebrezadeh - Iran
Yehudit Sasportas - Israel
Margherita Manzelli - Italy
Eva Marisaldi - Italy
Francesco Vezzoli - Italy
Dorris Haron Kasco - Ivory Coast
Yuki Kimura - Japan
Yelena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev - Kazakhstan
Oliver Musovik - Macedonia
Francis Alÿs - Mexico
Michael Raedecker - The Netherlands
A. K. Dolven - Norway
Angela Ferreira - Portugal
Candice Breitz - South Africa
William Kentridge - South Africa
Juan Munoz. - Spain
Miriam Bäckström - Sweden
Nicolás Fernández - Switzerland
Pipilotti Rist - Switzerland
Ugo Rondinone - Switzerland
Haluk Akakçe - Turkey
Sami Baydar - Turkey
Aydan Murtezaoglu - Turkey
Füsun Onur - Turkey
Ebru Özseçen - Turkey
Neriman Polat - Turkey
Sefa Saglam - Turkey
Günes Savas - Turkey
Murat Sahinler - Turkey
Ömer Uluç - Turkey
Emma Kay - United Kingdom
Chris Ofili - United Kingdom
Gavin Turk - United Kingdom
Gillian Wearing - United Kingdom
Tony Oursler - USA
Fatimah Tuggar - USA / Nigeria
Gregory Markopoulos - USA / Greece
Kara Walker - USA
Christopher Wool - USA
Lisa Yuskavage - USA
Arturo Herrera - Venezuela

Tags: Haluk Akakçe, Francis Alÿs, Miriam Bäckström, Candice Breitz, Elina Brotherus, Janet Cardiff, Mutlu Çerkez, Christina Dimitriadis, AK Dolven, A K Dolven, Lukas Duwenhögger, Ângela Ferreira, Vidya Gastaldon, Arturo Herrera, Carsten Höller, William Kentridge, Yuki Kimura, Lu Liang, Margherita Manzelli, Eva Marisaldi, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Juan Muñoz, Csaba Nemes, Chris Ofili, Tony Oursler, Manisha Parekh, Michael Raedecker, Pipilotti Rist, Ugo Rondinone, Iran do Espírito Santo, Yehudit Sasportas, Liang Shaoji, Malick Sidibé, Rosemarie Trockel, Gavin Turk, Francesco Vezzoli, Kara Walker, Gillian Wearing, Christopher Wool, Yelena, Lisa Yuskavage