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September 14, 2011

The Istanbul Biennial: A Rival to the Venice Biennale

By Rachel Wolff | Art

Martha Rosle' s Cleaning the Drapes. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The Venice Biennale, on view through November 27, has long been considered the premier showcase of global contemporary art. Recently, however, other expos have emerged as likely heirs to Venice's prestige and buzz, the Istanbul Biennial among them. This fall's Istanbul iteration, called "Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011," runs from September 17 through November 13 in two former warehouse spaces on the Bosporus Strait. The massive exhibition will include 50 solo presentations by an international and intergenerational roster of artists as well as five group shows. It's a fitting time to check out the art scene in the increasingly hip Turkish metropolis as well. "There are a large number of very talented artists living in this city, and the energy is incredible," says Biennial co-curator Jens Hoffmann. "Many people from abroad are moving to Istanbul to be a part of this—similar to how people moved to Berlin during the 1990s." 8-20TL; Antrepo 3 & 5; 02-12/334-0818; bienal.iksv.org/en.

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