HOME / BIENNIALS

28 SEPTEMBER FRIDAY @ 20:30
TURHAN MILDON CULTURE AND ART CENTER
JAZZ CONCERT
Defne Şahin Band “Unravel”
Defne Şahin, vocals
Johannes Ballestrem, piano
Igor Spallati, bass
Ediz Hafızoğlu, drums

29 SEPTEMBER SATURDAY
6TH CANAKKALE BIENNIAL OPENING
14:00 – 16:00    Studio Mavinil, Sanatsever, Korfmann Kütüphanesi, Mahal
16:00 – 17:00    Opening Event at Bordo Bina

6 OCTOBER SATURDAY
TEVFIKIYE OPET ARCHEO-VILLAGE GALLERY
Exhibition: Roots
Erdal Sezer, Evren Karayel Gökkaya, İhsan Doğrusöz, İlter Özyıldırım, Oğuzhan Karadal, Şeref Doğan, Vahid Novruzov

@ 10:00-18:00 / TEVFIKIYE OPET ARCHEO-VILLAGE ART FIESTA
Workshop and Exhibits: Ceramic, Functional Ceramic, Ceramic Recycling – Mosaic, Painting, Linocut, Wood Painting, Stone Painting – Decoration, Textile Print, Jewel Design, Music Performances

@ 18.30 / TEVFIKIYE OPET ARCHEO-VILLAGE HALL
FILM SCREENING
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, “The Wild Pear Tree”

13 OCTOBER FRIDAY @ 18:30
TEVFIKIYE OPET ARCHEO-VILLAGE HALL
FILM SCREENING
Derviş Zaim, “Dream”

2 NOVEMBER FRIDAY @ 18.00
KORFMANN LIBRARY
TALK
Material and Expression in Contemporary Art: How Tarhana and Wheat became materials for contemporary art? Nutrition and Recollection: Is an archaeology of nutrition culture possible? How the material shapes the “nature” of painting?
Hakan Kırdar, Artist, İzmir
Dr. Ahmet Uhri, Archeologist-Academician, İzmir
Ramazan Bayrakoğlu, Artist, İzmir

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Teşekkürler / Special Thanks
Rüstem Aslan, Fecri Polat, Ebru Kalu, Azra Tüzünoğlu (Pilot Gallery), Nurcan Güzel ve Münir Karataş  (Mor Film), Galerie Peter Kilchmann-Zurich, Videoist, Anastasia P. Valavanidou, Dolunay May (Kamu),  Hasan Turhanlı, Sarpdere Atölye, Alev Uysal (TroyaHan), Lora Sarıaslan, Derya & Eylem Bala, Mustafa Kansu, Galip Acar, Selçuk Eken, Bülent ve Deniz Erbaş, Timur Oktay, Tolga Özdeniz, Canan Bingül, İsem Mimarlık, Molay Cam, Favori Reklam, Ece Güneş Seramik, Kepenek Seramik, Dada Atölye, Murat Çetin Atölyesi,  Ceyhun Demir Enstrüman Yapım Atölyesi

Troy Museum – Culture and Tourism Ministry of Turkish Republic
Tevfikiye Opet Archeo-Village – Gallery
MAHAL
Korfmann Library – Troia Foundation
Bordo Bina
Sanatsever
Stüdio Mavinil

 

Before the Past – After the Future

“The space occupied by myth so expands that the mythical dimensions of the most distant past takes on a life of their own, replacing a reality beyond our grasp. No demonstration that the Trojan war did or did not occur can alter the evocative power of the Homeric legends to fire our imaginations even to this day.” (Thierry Hentsch – Imagining the Middle East – 1992)

What makes Troy so unique is its identity that sways between an epic tale and a historical fact. Homer’s masterpiece the Iliad has nurtured the humankind’s curiosity for knowledge and authenticity and its need for dreams and imagination at the same time, for centuries and millenniums thereafter. Homer’s epic and Trojan civilisation continue to be an inspiration for a diverse range of creative productions from high art to mass culture. Like all historical events, it gives us clues so as how to understand the context of present day’s social relations while continuing to be a reference for our cultural climate and collective memory with its epic aspect.

Homer’s epic, beyond being a poetic depiction and a loud and clear suggestion of a ten-year long war, is a concept that sprawled across times and geographies and renamed as per context, and really is a mythos in the full sense of the word. We could take another look at Troy today and contemplate how the history repeats itself in the ceaseless conflict between the East and the West or the North and the South and in the destiny of archaic struggles of the transitional geographies. Alternatively, like archaeologist M. Osman Korfmann did, we could reminisce it “as a communications and trade centre that is comprised of passageways and ports at the edge of the two cultural worlds and as an area of interaction between Asia and Europe” and witness the wealth and opportunities that the interdependence of cultures and people have created. The historicity of Troy is “a dreamed reality or a realised dream; an unprecedented rage; a tragedy that no heart can bear, a trick that turned everything upside down… Perished cities and hopes have turned into epics and dreams; these dreams and epics have shaped in flesh and bones and have become Troy.”(*Prof. Rustem Aslan, the head of Troy Archeological Excavations)

The conceptual framework of the 6th Çanakkale Biennial takes its inspiration from the units used in historicising time: Before the Past / After the Future imagines establishing a poetic relationship with the historical time codes defined through before and after (BC/AD) certain milestones or through a more objective point of view as in its distance from the present day (BP-Before the Present). We are aware that our idea of the past and the future is a product of our selecting, combining the selected moments, rewriting and deriving meaning. When the stretch of time before the present is bracketed, it becomes “the past” and the time begins with that selected bracket.

What we observe in the past and the future, before and after it, changes depending on the perspective, the source and intensity of the information, learned ways of looking and internalised ethos. This versatility is an open field for unique tactics and strategies as well as an uncanny foundation for making sense of the world. And an eternal source for the form and content of present day art and its conceptual and poetic layers.

CABININ 2018

BEFORE THE PAST – AFTER THE FUTURE
September 29 – November 11 2018

 Çanakkale Biennial, realised by the Çanakkale Biennial Initiative (CABININ) and supported by OPET, takes its inspiration from Troy on its 6th edition. Çanakkale Biennial will be open for 6 weeks and will bring together the works of 37 international artists, touched by the concepts, images and ecologies of the past and the future and produced using different mediums. As a body supported by local, national and international partnerships and carried forward with a collaborative mindset, Çanakkale Biennial Initiative is also assuming the artistic direction of the Biennial.

Artists:
Adrian Paci, Agnes-Meyer Brandis, Akın Aksu, Cem Demir, Hertog Nadler, Çınar Eslek, Deniz Sağdıç, Derviş Zaim, Emre Zeytinoğlu, Fani Zguro, Ferhat Özgür, Georgios Katsagelos, Guy Ben Ner, Hayri Esmer, Hülya Özdemir, Jakob Gautel, Janis Rafa, Jason Karaindros, Josephine Turalba, Katrin Korfmann & Jens Pfeifer, Krassimir Terziev, Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind, Mehmet Erim, Nancy Atakan, Nazlı Gürlek, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Pınar Yolaçan, Serhat Kiraz, Servet Koçyiğit, Seydi Murat Koç, Seyhan Boztepe, Tufan Baltalar, Ugo La Pietra, Yeni Anıt

The conceptual framework of the 6th Çanakkale Biennial is inspired from the units used to historicise time: “Before the Past – After the Future” is preparing to present a selection of art productions that are directed to the horizontal (geographical) and vertical (historical) expansions of time that is defined as before and after certain milestones (BC/AD) or more objectively as its distance from the present day (BP- Before Present).

One of the main venues of the 6th Çanakkale Biennial is the Troia Museum that will be opening its doors during 2018 Year of Troy. Works that focus on mythological and historical aspects of Troy will be exhibited in the Museum’s Temporary Exhibition Hall. The unique spaces in the neighbouring Tevfikiye which has recently been renovated and transformed into an Archeo-Village as part of OPET’s Respect to History Project will be hosting film screenings and workshops as well as Biennial exhibitions. Biennial’s exhibition venues in the city centre on the other hand, will be MAHAL- CABININ’s events venue that was opened five years ago, and the independent cultural venues Bordo Bina, Sanatsever, and Studio Mavinil, all of which are founded in the recent years in Çanakkale by young artists and designers for various functions. There will be a video anthology of 11 artists put together by Videoist at the Troia Foundation Korfmann Library, one of the institutional partners of the Biennial.

As part of the complementary elements of the Çanakkale Biennial- the Biennial Child, Biennial Youth, AccessAbility and We are at the Biennial programmes, film screenings, talks and workshops will be held during the six weeks that the Biennial is on and these will aim to create a sustainable interaction ground between Çanakkale city centre and Tevfikiye Village and the Troy region.

Troy is once again on the World’s agenda at its 20th year of entering the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List with its unique existence that sways between an epic tale and a historical fact. Homer’s epic Iliad has been able to respond to both humankind’s curiosity for knowledge and authenticity and its need for dreams and imagination for centuries and millenniums thereafter. Homer’s epic and Trojan civilisation continues to be an inspiration for a diverse range of creative productions from high art to mass culture. Like all historical events, it gives us clues so as how to understand the context of present day’s social relations while continuing to be a reference for our cultural climate and collective memory with its epic aspect.

We could take another look at Troy today and contemplate how the history repeats itself in the ceaseless conflict between the East and the West or the North and the South and in the destiny of archaic struggles of the transitional geographies. Alternatively, like archaeologist M. Osman Korfmann did, we could reminisce it “as a communications and trade centre that is comprised of passageways and ports at the edge of the two cultural worlds and as an affiliation area between Asia and Europe” and witness the wealth and opportunities that the interdependence of cultures and people have created. The historicity of Troy is “a dreamed reality or a realised dream; an unprecedented rage; a tragedy that no heart can bear, a trick that turned everything upside down… Perished cities and hopes have turned into epics and dreams; these dreams and epics have shaped in flesh and bones and become Troy.” (Prof. Rüstem Aslan, head of excavations at Troy)

6th Çanakkale Biennial is executed by CABININ in partnership with OPET and Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University FFA and with the support of Consulate General of the Netherlands, Italian Cultural Institute, Goethe Institute, French Institute, SAHA Association, Kale Group, Akol Hotel, Cafe du Port, Anzac Hotels, Truva Hotel, Wilusa Tourism, Sardalye and Troia Philharmonics Association. The institution that provided the venues for the biennial activities are the Ministry of Culture of Tourism of Turkish Republic -Troy Museum, OPET and Troia Foundation.

 

 

“Eren Guendelsberger, the nephew of Seyhan Boztepe, the Founder-Director of the Çanakkale Biennial, was born in Washington DC in 1995. Eren contributed immensely to the Children and Youth programmes of the Çanakkale Biennial in the past with his works in various fields of art, especially in music. Sadly we lost him on December 26th, 2017. We would like to dedicate the sixth edition of Çanakkale Biennial in his loving memory.”

 

 

Curator: CABININ
Director: Seyhan Boztepe
Executive Curator: Deniz Erbaş
Videoist: Hülya Özdemir, Ferhat Kamil Satıcı
Production Director: Kubilay Özmen
Exhibition Management: Erdal Sezer
Technical Officer: Mert Karaçıkay
MAHAL Technical Officer: Onur Tekin
Design: Serdar Negir, Nesrin Mete
Coordination Team: Burak Topçakıl, Cem Katı, Murat Çetin, Ceyhun Demir, Ülkü Sönmez, Uğur Karataş, Tolga Özbek, İsmail Erten, Didem Gürdoğan, Ilgın Aydınoğlu, Yeliz Saydan, Büşra Birel, Selin Eren
Venue Teams: Özgün Umar Umuç, Segah Atay, Hazal Sipahi, Ogün Yücel, Bahar Kahraman, İlayda Tunca, Berka Kınay, Gökçe Kınay, Saygın Mavinil
Editor: Alev Uysal
PR: Ebru Kalu
Photo – Documentation: Hakan Kumuk, Cem Katı, Tuncay Alpı

Adrian Paci
Agnes-Meyer Brandis
Akın Aksu
Cem Demir
Hertog Nadler
Çınar Eslek
Deniz Sağdıç
Derviş Zaim
Emre Zeytinoğlu
Fani Zguro
Ferhat Özgür
Georgios Katsagelos
Guy Ben-Ner
Hayri Esmer
Hülya Özdemir
Jakob Gautel
Janis Rafa
Jason Karaindros
Josephine Turalba
Katrin Korfmann & Jens Pfeifer
Krassimir Terziev
Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind
Mehmet Erim
Nancy Atakan
Nazlı Gürlek
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Pınar Yolaçan
Serhat Kiraz
Servet Koçyiğit
Seydi Murat Koç
Seyhan Boztepe
Tufan Baltalar
Ugo La Pietra
Yeni Anıt

Sınır Çizgisi
Küratörler: Seyhan Boztepe, Denizhan Özer
Ağustos 2007

Sanatçılar:
Ahmet Sipahioğlu (TR), Ali Mahmut Demirel (TR-DE), Aras Nirak (IS-UK), Andreis Tovan (NO), Babu Badalov (AZ), Bedri Baykam (TR), Bedri Karayağmurlar (TR), Bülent Akbaş (TR), Bülent Bakan (TR), Burcu Coştur (TR), Carolyn Thomson (UK), Cebrail Ötkün (TR), Cengiz Uğur (TR), Dafna Talmor (IS-UK), Defne Ayhan (TR-UK), Denizhan Özer (TR-UK), Emrah Kangal (TR), Erdem Tunalı (TR), Ernest Kurtveliev (UZ), Fatih Balcı (TR), Fazilet Kendirci (TR), Firuzan Şimşek (TR), Go Watanabe (JP), Gül Ilgaz (TR) Gülay Yaşayanlar (TR), Hakan Kırdar (TR), Hala Marji (LB), Harold Offeh (UK), Hrafn Thoroddsen (IZ), İlhan Özer (TR), Ilico Zautashvili (GE), İsmet Çavuşoğlu (TR), James Roseveare (UK), Javid Moghaddas (IR), Johanne Helard (FR), Jun’ichiro Ishii (JP-FR), Kadir Aktay (UK), Lorraine Field (CA), Lucy Levene (UK), Lütfi Özden (TR), Maria Sezer (TR), Mehmet Kavukçu (TR), Mehmet Yılmaz (TR), Merih Akoğlu (TR), Metin Şenergüç (TR-UK), Miriam Beer (DE), Muhammed Tatar (TR), Murat Germen (TR), Mustafa Horasan (TR), Muzaffer Tire (TR), Müfit İşler (TR), Nadir Ede (TR), Nancy Atakan (TR), Natalia Mali (RU), Nazan Azeri (TR), Nihat Küçük (TR), Nikos Pressas (GR), Nurdan Karasu Gökçe (TR), Nurettin Erkan (TR), Oksana Shatalova (KZ), Oktay Çolak (TR), Ömer Serkan Bakır (TR), Özdemir Yemenicioğlu (TR), Shalva Khakhanasvili (FR-GE), Serpil Kapar Kılıç (TR), Seyhan Boztepe (TR), Sevgi Avcı (TR), Stathis Androutsakis (GR), Susanne Albretch (DE), Şinasi Güneş (TR), Pınar Yeşilada (KKTC-TR), Ramazan Bayrakoğlu (TR), Rengim Mütevellioğlu (GE-TR), Reşat Başar (TR), Tansel Türkdoğan (TR), Tomur Atagök (TR), Ufuk Uyanık (UK-TR), Varol Topaç (TR), Vehbi Koca (UK-TR), Vicdan Nalbur Taşdemir (TR), Yakup Öztuna (TR), Yıldız Doyran (TR), Yumino Seki (JA-UK), Zafer-Barbara Baran (UK-PO)

5th International Çanakkale Biennial
that will be running from September 24 to November 6, 2016
has announced line-up of 40 Artists, Venues throughout city-centre

Works by 40 internationally celebrated artists are to be included in the 5th edition of The International Çanakkale Biennial, has been announced on a press conference held on the 13th of May in Istanbul, with the presentations of the curatorial team.

JR (France-USA), Peter Aerschmann (Switzerland), Cengiz Aktar (Turkey), Nevin Aladağ (Turkey-Germany), Halil Altındere (Turkey), Maher Abdel Aziz (Syria), Canan Beykal (Turkey), Sabine Küper-Büsch & Thomas Büsch (Germany-Turkey), Aissa Deebi (Palestine), Cem Demir (Turkey), Bikem Ekberzade (Turkey), Ahmet Elhan (Turkey), Tuğba Elmacı (Turkey), Mehmet Erim (Turkey), Çınar Eslek (Turkey), Anur Hadžıomerspahıć (Bosnia), Roza El Hassan (Hungary), Pravdoliub Ivanov (Bulgaria), Alfredo Jaar  (Chile-USA),  Haider Jabbar (Iraq), Reysi Kamhi (Turkey), Norayr Kasper (Canada), Bouchra Khalili (Morocco-France),  David Larsson (Sweden), Kalliopi Lemos (Greece), Dieter Mammel (Germany), Angela Melitopoulos (Germany), Ali Miharbi (Turkey), Boris Mikhailov (Ukraine-Germany), Eleni Mylonas  (Greece), Birgit Johnsen & Hanne Nielsen (Denmark), Adrian Paci (Albania), Sermin Sherif  (Turkey), Vahit Tuna (Turkey), Josephine Turalba (Philippines), and Esin Turan (Austria-Turkey).

5V2A2542The new and previously exhibited artworks on display will explore the theme of “Homeland” (Anavatan, Heimat, الوطن, الأم, Patria), chosen by a curatorial team of Beral Madra, Deniz Erbaş and Seyhan Boztepe. The Turkish city of Çanakkale is located on the Dardanelles Strait, just north of the epicentre of the European refugee crisis in the Aegean Sea, and the curators have chosen to focus on a crucial concept behind the constant succession of global migrations and flows of refugees and exiles: the imagery and visions of the idea of homeland, which is bound to 20th-century nationalism and its after-effects.

Discussing the theme of this year’s Biennial, curator Beral Madra said: “The 5th International Çanakkale Biennial will be a perfect opportunity for us to face and challenge global human movement with the universal language of contemporary art and thus have a civil commitment and positioning towards the ongoing tragedy. The Biennial will try to raise questions about the sustainability of ideas of national and ethnic identity in a world whose borders are becoming increasingly accidental and penetrable. In inviting artists, curators and institutions to observe, examine and interpret these themes, thesis and discourses, the Çanakkale Biennial may present a discourse which will advocate that even if the migrants/refugees are changed by the society they migrate to, human history has revealed that they also challenge and transfuse the host society with a new creativity and vision.”

5V2A2702Many of the invited artists explore related themes of nationality, identity and marginalization in their art, with some working in disciplines including graphic and industrial design, photojournalism, and documentary film-making, as well as contemporary art. Artworks will be exhibited at venues throughout the centre of Çanakkale. The main venue will be the Piri Reis Museum, with MAHAL Art Centre, the Old Armenian Church, Mekor Hayim Synagogue, the Korfmann Library, Çanakkale Archaeology Museum, Çanakkale Ceramic Museum, the House of Ece Ayhan, ÇTSO Çanakkale House and the Çanakkale State Fine Arts Gallery also planned to be hosting exhibitions.

Several institutions have collaborated with the curatorial team on the participation of artists in the 5th International Çanakkale Biennial. The organisers are grateful to The Consulate General of Switzerland; Ellis Island National Park Service / Ellis Island Museum and the US Consulate General; The Embassy of Sweden; Hungarian Cultural Center; Pilot Galeri, Istanbul; Gallerie Polaris, Paris; The Ruya Foundation; Kuad Gallery; Gallerie Suzanne Tarasieve, Paris, and Anadolu Kultur.

Founded by a civil initiative (CABININ) in 2006 and supported mainly by the Municipality of Çanakkale, at a point of intersection between Mediterranean, European and Middle Eastern cultures, the International Çanakkale Biennial has previously explored themes strongly connected to the geopolitical and historical context of the city. In 2014, the conceptual framework of the 4th edition of the Biennial built upon the Centenary commemorations for WWI; in 2012, it touched upon recent waves of uprising in Turkey and the region with the theme ‘Fictions and Dissentions’.

5th International Çanakkale Biennial Team:
General Art Director: Beral Madra
General Director-Founder: Seyhan Boztepe
CABININ Executive Curator: Deniz Erbaş
Exhibition Manager: Kubilay Özmen
Organisation Team: İsmail Erten, Özen Algönül Erkek, Cem Katı, Didem Gürdoğan, Aynur Ganiler, Mert Karaçıkay, Çağla İlk, Ilgın Aydınoğlu, Erdal Sezer, Irene Panzani, Ender Açıkalın, Yıldırım Şahiner, Onur Tekin…
Çanakkale Municipality: Özlem Eryiğit, Sevil Albay
Design: Serdar Negir
Corporate press consultant: Aynur Ganiler
International PR partner: FLINT

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

The 5th International Çanakkale Biennial (24th September – 6th of November 2016) entitled: “Homeland” (Vatan, Heimat, الوطن, الأم, Patria) with the distinguished participation of artists, art and culture institutions, art critics and curators, will focus on the homeland/heimat imaginations bound to 20th century nationalism and its tragic and problematic consequences being witnessed as constant global emigrations, refugees and exiles.

The source of inspiration for the 5th International Çanakkale Biennial is the philosopher, writer and journalist Villém Flusser, a refugee of WWII. His words about the concept of homeland/heimat, which were the motivation for the concept of the 5th International Çanakkale Biennial, penetrate into the innermost core of the migrant and refugee tragedy that confronts humankind in the 21st century: “Homeland is not an eternal value but rather a function of a specific technology; still, whoever loses it suffers. This is because we are attached to heimat by many bonds, most of which are hidden and not accessible to consciousness. Whenever these attachments tear or are torn asunder the individual experiences this painfully, almost as a surgical invasion of his most intimate person.”1

What does homeland mean today in active politics? Many political parties with rightist national ideologies name themselves “Homeland Party” which implicates a dedication and commitment to homeland, places it in sacredness and exempts it of any criticism. The concept is commonly used as a unique, unchangeable identity and source, and supposed to have mostly positive connotations. Home sounds like a harmless concept when used by right-wing extremists to convince the people that they have a moderate discourse. However, a Foucauldian interpretation claims the opposite: “The home supports the operations of modern regimes of power, bio-power, procedures and technologies of self, regulating and determining the habits of the body. Thus habituating the connections between the body and the nation, they function as regulatory controls: a bio-politics that results in excommunication from the home and homeland. Home and Homeland are interlinked; the home is intimately tied to what Foucault calls the games of truth, relations of power and forms of relations to oneself and to others.2

The ongoing common judgement is that the individual cannot choose his/her homeland/heimat but is born to it and it is his/her fate. The ones who are not born in that homeland are foreigners, who cannot be accepted or forgiven when they claim any kind of affiliation. Evidently, this kind of socio-political formula is an explicit clash with neo-capitalist cosmopolitanism as well as with globalism, which, through rights of world citizenship as well as financial profits through human migration, allows and provokes people to live where they want. The rights to live in a chosen country or the wish to live rootlessly and the forced immigration or the refugee problem are two sides of these socio-political and economic arguments.

In both cases, immigration is elaborated by right wing politics as challenging and precarious to the concept of homeland/heimat since the right to live rootlessly as a world citizen or forced immigration opens up a flexibility, elimination and dispersal in the concept of homeland /heimat. For right wing politics, this concept combines the basic assumptions of all radical and nationalist ideologies, according to which the individual is not free as a central, active subject, but submits to a supposedly closed, homogeneous community.

What is happening now on the shores and borders of Europe is almost prophesied in Foucault’s Madness and Civilisation: “Confined on the ship, from which there is no escape, the madman is delivered to the river with its thousand arms, the sea with its thousand roads, to that great uncertainty external to everything. He is a prisoner in the midst of what is the freest, the openest of routes: bound fast at the infinite crossroads. He is the Passenger par excellence: that is, the prisoner of the passage. And the land he will come to is unknown—as is, once he disembarks, the land from which he comes. He has his truth and his homeland only in that fruitless expanse between two countries that cannot belong to him.”3

Based on this quotation, in his essay William Walters4 discusses migration, deportation and viapolitics following in Foucault’s footsteps. In this poetic paragraph, Foucault mentions the Narrenschiff (the ship of fools, the ship full of mad men drifting into the harbours of European cities, their removal ordered by the authorities). Walters explains: “What was the meaning of this practice of using ships to ferry away the mad men? Foucault insists it was more than a ‘general means of extradiction’; it was a highly symbolic act that had everything to do with the way madness was coming to haunt the imagination of the Renaissance.” With the term viapolitics he indicates “a migration policy-scape that is increasingly preoccupied with the routes and journeys taken by migrants crossing militarized and surveilled borders. Whole territories are now labelled ‘transit countries’, and their governments are pressured to crack down on migrant routes”. This hard-hearted determination, defined here as viapolitics, confronts the poetic expression of Foucault and the current tragedy of the refugees, precisely delineating the cold-blooded system, logistics, method, techniques and processes of the current condemnation to homelessness.

Now, witnessing the images of drifting and sinking boats in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, we have to ask the question: What is the reason for today’s immigration, deportation and that viapolitics?

Today it is difficult to live in a very complex and enigmatic region such as the Middle East, a region of ancient civilisations that made the World we live in. Throughout the centuries it was a realm of utmost creativity, thought and wisdom, while from the 19th century on it became a region transformed under imperialism and other radical ideologies, bearing all the welfare, but also the vices and burdens of 20th century politics and economy. Words can neither describe the magnificence of its nature and monuments nor define the disasters, interrupted lives and war as it exists in this region. 3

The majority of people living in the region were born into a modernized yet traditional society as programmed by colonisation and had to face one of the most ambitious utopias of 20th century, with the paradox, however, that their region was called “the Third World” or “the periphery” from that moment on, while the winds of liberalism, socialism, communism, militarism, internationalism, nationalism, fundamentalism, McDonaldism, multiculturalism swept over it. They ended up living in a post-peripheral globalism, dystopic and heterotopic. It was a century of constructing and deconstructing, making and remaking. This story, full of paradoxes, hopes, disappointments, fits with the stories of many individuals in this region. Now, our hearts cry with tears of blood for the millions of people who have had to leave their homelands and are now suffering such a great loss.

Many artists and art experts of various creative disciplines throughout the 20th century and in the 15 years of 21st century have lived or are living within this geopolitical, social context. Since post-modernism and within the prospects of globalization, they have tried to deconstruct the complex mechanism of peripheral modernism and reconstruct an art system based on free and independent creativity, on interactive exchange of thoughts and concepts and on collaborative projects with international fellow critics and curators. Fortunately, this process was supported by current discourses with their positive impact on the art theory of the late 80s and 90s.

From the mid 80s on, the outcome of the efforts of artists and people involved in art became relatively visible and sustainable in Istanbul, Bagdad, Damascus, Beirut, Amman, Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan, cities which embody the end of century phenomenon such as dystopia/heterotopia and neo-topia, all to be an extremely fertile field for artistic creativity.

From mid-90s on, the interest of world-wide intellectuals, artists and art investors shifted to these cities, representing cosmopolitan environments rather than local national characterisitics. The question was how to use this opportunity to reconstruct interactive, interdisciplinary art events and art appreciations which can transcend the -isms of the 20th century and open a horizon to democracy. In fact, history was repeating itself. At the beginning of 19th century, Western Modernism took its inspirations from remote Africa, Asia, Asia Minor and the Middle East. Early modern painting and sculpture, as well as middle and late modernism, have been pregnant with formal and theoretical influences from the Non-West. It has happened again. There were two ways of nourishing Eurocentric ambitions: The intellectuals and artists and other creative individuals emigrated to Euro-centres and to the USA, or art experts of the West infiltrated the art scenes of the Non-West, selecting ideas, trends and models.

This might be a raw and negative description of what is happening for three decades under the aegis of global exchange. To our delight, it has another face. Because of the nature of globalization the people are inevitably connected and because of the ethics of globalization there is a kind of cultural correctness on the level of intellectual production.

On the other hand, globalization also created the consciousness of civil society, together with its infrastructure in the form of NGOs and civil initiatives acting as a membrane as well as a transmitter between the political and economic powers and society and individuals. Civil associations have made a difference in the art world since the beginning of 90s; they have prepared the networks for the individuals working in different fields of art and culture. 4

In order to resist a new colonisation of any sorts, the artists and art experts had to learn to utilize this tool for their benefits. However, pro-western policies with weak economies are effectively re-colonized. There is still a tension between the old infrastructures (polarized world structures) and the new. There is also a tension between old nationalism, new nationalism and transnationalism. Cultural and artistic exchange plays on this territory of multi-tensions. It is also paradoxical that the people have to keep one part of the memory alive – for the immigrant and the refugee it is the homeland/heimat – because there is no culture without memory, as Umberto Eco defined it in his video interview: “Shared memories mean common identity. We cannot think of ourselves as Europeans if we are not able to restore an European identity. Parallel to individual memory is the library, the vegetal memory. If somebody loses his memory he becomes a plant. Hell has no meaning without memory.”5

At the same time, people should persuasively question the part played by memory, which can poison their current and future plans. It is a very fragile path. At this point – dealing with memory, the homeland/heimat – we have to rely on the artists, who have been dealing with it according to a post-modernist process. For two decades we can observe in the works of artists all kinds of detailed research into their origins and collective memory, deciphering political, economic, social, cultural complexities related to ideological interventions, focusing on the very core of the relation between everyday life and art.

In Raoul Vaneigem’s words: “The history of our times calls to mind those Walt Disney characters who rush madly over the edge of a cliff without seeing it, so that the power of their imagination keeps them suspended in mid-air; but as soon as they look down and see where they are, they fall. Contemporary thought, like Bosustov’s heroes, can no longer rest on its own delusions. What used to hold it up, today brings it down. It rushes full tilt in front of the reality that will crush it: the reality that is lived every day. Is this dawning lucidity essentially new? I don’t think so. Everyday life always produces the demand for a brighter light, if only because of the need which everyone feels to walk in step with the march of history. But there are more truths in twenty-four hours of a man’s life than in all the philosophies.”6

Despite all the generalization, standardization and totalitarianism in the world, this twenty-four hours makes all the difference within the supremacy of the corporate economy and global politics. The blood-stained history of the last decades is the production of the political intervention into the homeland/heimat bound everyday activity of the people.

Artists are evidently aware of the significance of it, approaching these twenty-four hours in detail, itemising and particularising the facts with his/her inevitable sophistication and insouciance. The magnitude of this task can be seen in the images of desperation, emergency, clamour and transgression. The viewer generously, but cunningly gives the artist the right to intervene into the minute detail of the common life and the authority to cry out his/her message to the world from a homeland. The viewer makes the artist an accomplice.

However, in non-democratic or semi-democratic countries, contemporary art works are either considered a vital criticism of the status quo and state policy or not evaluated as metaphorical tools to empower democracies. One of the main reasons for this misrecognition is the lack of fundamental infrastructure of contemporary art to enable its influence on the visual thinking of 5 society. The other reason is that society is not ready to change its mind and behaviour by utilizing the post-modernist patterns, models and concepts.

And now we are exposed to realize the suffering, misery and death created by the forced or voluntary immigration through the oppressive and destructive political decisions in the world order that defines itself as globalization in the sense that it promises equality, human rights and the benefits of advanced science and technology. It is explained as the outcome of the neo-capitalist system even by the supporters of the system without any suggestion of a possible restoration. Even recognized by the supporters of the present system there are no immediate attempts to rectify it and they even refuse to draw the necessary conclusions.

The 5th International Çanakkale Biennial will be a perfect opportunity for us to face and challenge the global human movement with the universal language of contemporary art and thus have a civil commitment and positioning towards the ongoing tragedy. The Biennial will try to raise questions about the sustainability of ideas of national and ethnic identity in a world whose borders are becoming increasingly accidental and penetrable. It will try to open discussions on the traditional and post-modern societies which are now in flux, opposed by the global sweeping of networks and an excess of visual culture initiatives, despite their persistent traditional or modernist socio-political and economic infrastructures and epistemologies.

In inviting the artists, curators and institutions to observe, examine and interpret these themes, thesis and discourses, the Çanakkale Biennial may present a discourse which will advocate that even if the migrants/refugees are exposed to be changed by the society they migrated to, human history has revealed that they have challenged and transfused the host society with a new creativity and vision.

Beral Madra, January 2016

1.Vilém Flusser, The Freedom of the Migrant: Objections to Nationalism, University of Illinois Press.
2.Eric Harper and Charity Njoki Mwaniki, ‘Foucault: On Home and Homelessness’, http://www.academia.edu/10313350/Foucault_ Home_and_Homeless_presentation_at_the_Critical_Space_Conference_London_. Accessed January 2016.
3.Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, 1988, p. 11
4.William Walters, ‘On the Road with Michel Foucault: Migration, Deportation and Viapolitics’, http://www.academia.edu/ 7344475/On_the_Road_with_Michel_Foucault_Deportation_Aviation_and_Viapolitics. Accessed January 2016.
5.Umberto Eco, ‘Sulla memoria. Una conversazione in tre parti, 15’. Capitolo 1. 6’ 5 ’’. Directed by Davide Ferrario. http://www.codiceitalia2015.com/en/exhibition/on-memory. Accessed January 2016.
6.Raoul Vaneigem, ‘The Revolution of Everyday Life’, http://72.52.202.216/~fenderse/EVERYDAY.htm. Accessed January 2016.

The curatorial team of the 5th International Canakkale Biennial: Beral Madra, Seyhan Boztepe, Deniz Erbaş

Çanakkale State Fine Arts Gallery
Naval Museum Arts Gallery
Old Armenian Church
Old places at Fevzipaşa Neighbourhood
Kordon Boyu-Marina (Video Screenings)

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Exhibition view from the main venue, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Exhibition view from the main venue, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Exhibition view from the main venue, works by Marwan Sahmarani, Neriman Polat and Ayhan Taskiran, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Exhibition view from the main venue, works by Marwan Sahmarani, Neriman Polat and Ayhan Taskiran, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Exhibition view from the main venue, works from Kalliopi Lemos, Serhat Kiraz and Jakob Gautel, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Exhibition view from the main venue, works by Kalliopi Lemos, Serhat Kiraz and Jakob Gautel, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Ulrike Rosenbach Performance at the Old Armenian Church, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Ulrike Rosenbach Performance at the Old Armenian Church, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Ani Setyan Installation at the Korfmann Library, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Ani Setyan Installation at the Korfmann Library, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Biennial Team and Artists, 2012

3rd Çanakkale Biennial, Biennial Team and Artists, 2012