September 11, 2013 - Istanbul Biennial - Mom, am I barbarian?
September 11, 2013

Mom, am I barbarian?

Anne, ben barbar mıyım? (Mom, am I barbarian?)
The 13th Istanbul Biennial 

14 September–20 October 2013

Professional and press preview: 12–13 September 

Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
Nejat Eczacıbaşı Binası
Sadi Konuralp Caddesi No: 5
Şişhane 34433 İstanbul Turkey

T +90 212 334 07 64
F +90 212 334 07 05
ist.biennial [​at​]

Curated by Fulya Erdemci
Organised by 
Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts

The 13th Istanbul Biennial, titled Mom, am I Barbarian?, curated by Fulya Erdemci and organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) opens on 14 September. The exhibition, which is the first edition of the Istanbul Biennial with free admission, can be visited until 20 October.

Mom, am I barbarian?, borrowing its title from poet Lale Müldür’s book, focuses on the theme of public space as a political forum. The biennial exhibition aspires to open up a space to rethink the concept of ‘publicness’ through art and elicit imagination and innovative thought to contribute to social engagement and discussion. In this context, the 13th Istanbul Biennial includes works that contemplate the construction of new subjectivities, as opposed to positions grounded upon existent binary oppositions and discourses; highlights the role of art in creating novel languages, and asks whether art can engender a possibility for collective imagination.

In order to challenge the dominant structure in the field of art in public domain, which mainly consists of artists of European and Anglo-Saxon origin—and thus, does not reflect geopolitical diversity—the 13th Istanbul Biennial has prioritized less privileged geographies like Latin America, North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey in the selection of artists. Additionally, it seeks to disrupt existing balances and offer a different type of equilibrium by bringing together pioneering established artists with emerging, younger generation artists to form a historical aperture between the present day and the ’60s and ’70s.

Aiming present poetry (and along the same line, music) as an interface between the personal, and the public and political, Mom, am I barbarian? rethinks the figure of the recluse, outcast, bandit, anarchist, revolutionary, poet or artist as one who parts the seams of the system, rendering what lies outside it possible in the present day context. In doing so, it prioritizes the artistic practices that problematize the dichotomies between barbarity and civilisation, nature and culture, the singular and the universal, the subject and the social, and randomness and order.

The 13th Istanbul Biennial, Mom, am I Barbarian? will take place at Antrepo no.3, Galata Greek Primary School, ARTER, SALT Beyoğlu and 5533 between 14 September and 20 October. Collaboration with art institutions such as ARTER and SALT Beyoğlu, and an independent artist initiative, 5533, in the framework of the exhibition has also corresponded to the questions around artistic communities, art institutions and cooperation the Biennial explores.

For more information on the 13th Istanbul Biennial, exhibition venues, visitor information, please visit the biennial website at at

Media relations: 
Elif Obdan, T + 90 212 334 07 13 / elif.obdan [​at​]
Rhiannon Pickles, M +31 (0) 6158 21202 / rhiannon [​at​]

Istanbul Biennial
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