The 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Written by Hanife Çelik


The Venice Biennale which took place in 1895 for the first time, is one of the most leading art exhibitions in the world. Many countries initiated the establishment of their own national pavilions after the year 1907. With the efforts of the Istanbul Culture Art Foundation (IKSV) in 2014 and along with the contributions of its 21 supporters, Turkish Pavilion has taken its sustained position at the Venice Biennale.

The 56th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale will take place this year between 9 May and 22 November. Sarkis’ Respiro will be on display within the Pavilion of Turkey. The Pavilion of Turkey exhibition, which will take place in co-ordination with The Istanbul Culture Art Foundation, will take place at one of the most prominent locations of the Sale d’Armi Building at Arsenale, curated by Defne Ayas.

Sarkis, who was born in Istanbul in 1938, studied at the Istanbul Fine Arts Academy (Mimar Sinan University). Sarkis who has been living in Paris since 1964 has won the 1967 ‘Prix de la Peinture a la Biennale de Paris’ and 1991 Grand Prix National de Sculpture Awards.

Sarkis who has linked different religions, philosophies and art histories with memory and location during his art life of half a century, will arrange the theatre stage of the Pavilion of Turkey for his Project Respiro. The word Respiro in Italian means breath. The set up arranged by the artist in the forms of mirrors, stained-glass panels and neon lighting, will be completed with a composition by Jacopo Baboni-Schilingi.

The Advisory Board for the Pavilion of Turkey, at the 56th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, will include artist Ali Kazma, academic member of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Faculty of Art History and AICA International Vice President Associate Professor Burcu Pelvanoğlu, curator and art critic Cristiana Perrella, curator Associate Professor Lewis Johnson and Associate Professor Zerrin Iren Boynudelik from Yildiz Technical University Faculty of Art and Design.

The exhibition at the Pavilion of Turkey is taking place under the coordination of IKSV, sponsorship of Fiat, under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, and with the production support of Mehveş-Dalinc Ariburnu and the SAHA Association. The Pavilion of Turkey Venice Biennale takes place with the initiation of IKSV and contributions of its 21 supporters at a permanent location that has been rented for 20 years.

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Hanife Çelik

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