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From September 16 – November 12, the 15th Istanbul Biennial—which is curated by Elmgreen & Dragset and is centered around the concept of “a good neighbor”—will be staged across six venues in the heart of the Turkish city.

Details about the highly-anticipated exhibition have been released periodically over the past year, initially making waves in April 2016 when the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset was selected as the 2017 curators. Their appointment was a notable first for the Biennial, which had previously never seen artists moonlight in a curatorial role.

This was followed by the December press conference that announced the theme of “a good neighbor,” where the curators showed off their artistic roots: the pair enlisted 40 performers to question what defines a good neighbor before revealing their chosen theme.

Home is approached as an indicator of diverse identities and a vehicle for self-expression, and neighborhood as a micro-universe exemplifying some of the challenges we face in terms of co-existence today,” Elmgreen & Dragset explained of the curatorial decision.

“Your neighbor might be someone who lives quite a different life from yours,” they add. “The artists in the 15th Istanbul Biennial raise questions about ideas of home, neighborhood, belonging, and co-existence from multiple perspectives. Some of the artworks examine how our domestic living conditions and modes have changed and how our neighborhoods have transformed, while others focus on how we cope with today’s geopolitical challenges on a micro-level.”

As such, the 55 artists and collectives selected for the 15th iteration of the Istanbul Biennial—which artnet News is exclusively announcing—will look at how modes of living within our respective communities has developed throughout the past few decades.


Monica Bonvicini included in the 15th Istanbul Biennial
Monica Bonvicini included in the 15th Istanbul Biennial
Monica Bonvicini included in the 15th Istanbul Biennial