British artists at the 15th Istanbul Biennial

The 15th Istanbul Biennial, entitled a good neighbour and curated by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, reveals the participating artists of this year’s edition, which takes place from 16 September to 12 November 2017. Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Koç Holding, the 15th Istanbul Biennial brings together artworks by 55 artists from 32 countries, all addressing different notions of home, belonging and neighbourhood. The biennial takes place in six neighbouring venues: Istanbul Modern, Galata Greek Primary School, Ark Kültür, Pera Museum, Yoğunluk Atelier, and Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam.

With the aim of extending its arts networks across Turkey collaborating with local institutions on big scale international projects, British Council is supporting two British artists, Kasia Fudakowski and the duo Geogie Nettel&Morag Keil in this year’s Biennial. This collaboration will also contribute to the Culture and Arts Writing Workshop.

Visit Galata Greek School to see the artworks of the British artists.

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Kasia Fudakowski

Employing primarily sculpture, Kasia Fudakowski’s works draw upon the paradoxes of cultural history to playfully assert typologies, archetypes and stereotypes of genders, nations and ethnic legacies. These notions of difference are employed and subverted – with a humorous and nimble touch – in order to point out the unexpected continuities and interdependencies among neighbouring individuals, histories and identities.

Difference becomes commonality in Fudakowski’s work Continueouslessness (2017). For this piece, she has constructed a series of ten panels that stand side by side in a room, forming a screen or wall divider. The work’s title suggests a sense of constancy through change (a ‘coalition of chaos’, in the artist’s words) and presents a functioning – yet incongruous – union of different parts, wheeled and interlinked. 


Georgie Nettel & Morag Keil

The Fascism of Everyday Life (2016) / video

With its cheerful, singsong opening reminiscent of a television show, Morag Keil and Georgie Nettell’s film The Fascism of Everyday Life (2016) contrasts the expectations of city life as an artist with the realities of cramped living conditions where one must protect one’s space from one’s housemates. The film – inspired in part by the MTV series Cribs and television shows about property – is shot in the artists’ rented rooms in London. They are shown investigating property values online, then disclosing to one another the rent they pay for their shared flats – high prices that jar with the inadequacy of their living spaces, despite the increasing value of the buildings that house them. This is followed by a warts-and-all tour of their flats: dirty communal kitchens filled with crusty condiments and a mish-mash of tea bags, stacks of half-used bathroom supplies, an ‘anarchic’ fridge, and other emblems of shared living. The film explores the way in which ideologies of the nuclear family, notions of property ownership, and the housing crisis in London are all intertwined. In doing so, it criticises the normative understanding of home, family life and its gender roles, as steered by the goals of property and procreation, which can lead to a gnawing frustration among those who do not, or cannot, conform to such conventions.


British Artists at the 14th Istanbul Biennial

The 14th Istanbul Biennial, SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms, drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, opened to the public from 5 September to 1 November 2015 in over 30 venues on the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus, from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, from Beyoğlu to Büyükada, from Rumelifeneri to the old city and from Şişli to Kadıköy.
On this biennial edition, British Council supported British artists and academicians Ed Atkins, James Richards, Marcos Lutyens, Heather Phillipson, Griselda Pollock, Susan Philipsz, Liam Gillick, Daria Martin’s Biennial participation and works productions.