The 14th Istanbul Biennial SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms (2015)
Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens
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The 14th Istanbul Biennial SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) opened to the public on September 5, 2015. The biennial, drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev with a number of alliances, presented artworks by over 80 participants from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. The biennial was open until November 1, 2015.

Encompassing 36 venues on the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus, SALTWATER took place in exhibition spaces as well as temporary spaces of habitation on land and on sea such asboats, hotels, former banks, garages, gardens, schools, shops and private homes.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev stated “This citywide exhibition on the Bosphorus hovers around a material-salt water-and the contrasting images of knots and of waves. It looks for where to draw the line, to withdraw, to draw upon, and to draw out. It does so offshore, on the flat surfaces of our devices with our fingertips, but also in the depths, underwater, before the enfolded encoding unfolds.

It considers different frequencies and patterns of waves, the currents and densities of water, both visible and invisible that poetically and politically shape and transform the world. There are arrested movements that suspend time (the knots of human transport across seas and oceans, the knots of war, of labour, of ethnic cleansing) and there are repetitive and dispersive movements like waves (waves of uprisings, waves of ‘jouissance,’ electro-magnetic waves). There are literal waves of water, but also waves of people, of emotion and memory. It is through the identification of waves that we acknowledge patterns-underwater patterns of water, or patterns of wind. Perhaps a wave is simply time-the feeling of a difference between its high and low points able to mark the experience of time, and thus of space, and thus of life. With and through art, we mourn, commemorate, denounce, try to heal, and we commit ourselves to the possibility of joy and vitality, of many communities that have co-inhabited this space, leaping from form to flourishing life.”
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14th Istanbul Biennial
Istanbul, Turkey
September 5-November 1, 2015
Dafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev