“ONLY THE DEAD HAVE SEEN THE END OF WAR” – Plato
International Çanakkale Biennial, since its foundation in 2006, has been aiming primarily to establish an international centre for contemporary arts and culture, and hence, to transform Çanakkale into a meeting point for production, observation and presentation of creations of contemporary art where Mediterranean, European and Middle-Eastern cultures intersect; then by inviting numerous artists and experts, to locate the city into the international network of communications, arts and culture of global biennial community; and finally, to provide an open platform for professionals, artists and institutions to exchange their practices and share expertise in collaboration.
The arguments, interpretations and critics so far elaborated in considering the 100th year of First World War constructed a constructively comprehensive conceptual framework for Çanakkale Biennial. In the centenary of 2014, numerous projects and events were held in those countries, which have participated in or effected by the war. Çanakkale Biennial anticipated a broad and an effective participation in cultural and artistic topics of this global communication.
Perceiving artistic and cultural creations as the most effective means of reflection and criticism since the beginning of 20th century, Çanakkale Biennial this year, aimed at revaluating, elaborating and elucidating the ongoing political, social and cultural events and the impacts of war thereupon since 1914. Recognizing the fact that the city of Çanakkale, with its historical, cultural and natural context considerably effected by First World War and its aftermaths, having played a considerable role at the turn of our century, the relevant countries through their diplomatic representatives and cultural centres have not spared their contribution to the biennial.
The 4th International Çanakkale Biennial provided an open communication and a collaboration platform for the international community and enables a comprehensive revaluation of the impacts of First World War and the 20th century at local, national and international levels on today’s political configuration and the historical geography of the Ottoman Empire as well. The biennial has invited those artists and experts who are mostly prominent with their specific works of art interpreting the consequences of war and peace cycles and the following political, economical, social and cultural consequences in Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasia and in the Middle-East. The sensitivity, anticipation and subtlety within their works are not only focused on the conditions in their own countries, but also on the effects on other countries and societies as well.
All together, they accomplished an accurate body of a common visual memory and a valuable accumulation of images. We believe the presentation of those works has created a substantial and a stimulating effect on the intellectual capacity of the younger generations. As for the facilities, the Doğtaş building in city centre has served as the main location for the 4th International Çanakkale Biennial. As previously, the Biennial used also the special buildings and venues of historical importance like Korfmann Library, old Armenian Church, Yalı Hani, Mahal Art Center and the storehouses in the vicinity.
Along with paintings, photographs and video works of the artists, which have previously exhibited in international exhibitions, their recent works specific to Çanakkale Biennial wene also produced and firstly exposed.
The 4th International Çanakkale Biennial is financially sponsored by the Municipality of Çanakkale and supported by the ongoing activities of related platforms such as Art Biennial of Children, Art Biennial of Youth, Unhindered Biennial, and the women’s initiative ‘We are in Biennial’. All these teams have not only supported the main exhibition of the Biennial, but also acted as a mediator to actively communicate the messages to the public through various outdoor activities.