Turkey Names Artist for 2024 Venice Biennale

Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Turkey Names Artist for 2024 Venice Biennale

An installation by the influential artist Gülsün Karamustafa will be presented at the Türkiye Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, to be held between 20 April and 24 November 2024. Curated by Esra Sarıgedik Öktem, the exhibition will take place at the Türkiye Pavilion located in its long-term venue at the Arsenale, secured by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) for the duration of 20 years from 2014 to 2034.

Bige Örer, Director of Istanbul Biennial and İKSV Contemporary Art Projects stated: “We have a long-standing working relationship with Gülsün Karamustafa and we are thrilled to work with her in developing the exhibition for the Türkiye Pavilion. Gülsün Karamustafa is one of the leading figures of the contemporary art scene in Turkey and her work has travelled and found its significance in many different parts of the world. Her layered artistic practice engages with the most pressing issues of our time such as displacement and migration, exile and ethnicity, sexuality and gender and many other socio-political issues which will have a dialogue with the conceptual framework of the main exhibition titled ‘Foreigners Everywhere’, curated by Adriano Pedrosa.

We are also delighted to work with Esra Sarıgedik Öktem, as the curator of the Türkiye Pavilion, who has a long term collaboration with Gülsün Karamustafa and a remarkable experience in the field both locally and internationally.”

Gülsün Karamustafa (1946, Ankara) is an internationally acclaimed artist known for her materially and methodologically diverse works that are born out of personal and historical narratives. Throughout her densely woven artistic production that spans over five decades, Karamustafa has been utilising varied techniques, mediums, and methods to create paintings, installations, ready-mades, assemblages, photographs and videos that mainly scrutinise and showcase the historical injustices within the socio-political realm. Primarily focused on issues related to the modernization of Turkey, displacement, memory, migration, and gender, Karamustafa is hailed as one of the most outspoken and influential contemporary artists in Turkey that has inspired the new generation of artists.

Karamustafa has participated in numerous international biennials including Istanbul, TR; São Paulo, BR; Gwangju, KR; Kyiv, UA; Singapore, SG Havana, CU; Thessaloniki, GR; Sevilla, ES. The artist has presented solo exhibitions at major institutions and galleries worldwide, including SALT Beyoğlu and Galata, TR; Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin DE; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; IVAM Institut d’Art Modern, Valencia, ES; The National Contemporary Museum of Athens, GR; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, DE; Lunds Konsthall, Lunds, SE; Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg [AT], Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, DE; Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, DE among others. Her works have been included in the permanent collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; Tate Modern, London, GB; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, US; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, US; Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris, FR; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL; Ludwig Museum, Cologne, DE; MUMOK, Vienna, AT; Wien Museum, Vienna, AT; Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, PL; EMST National Contemporary Art Museum, Athens, GR; Istanbul Modern Art Museum and Arter, Istanbul. She received the Roswitha Haftmann Prize in 2021 and Prince Claus Award in 2014. The artist lives and works in Istanbul and Berlin.

The curator of the pavilion will be Esra Sarıgedik Öktem. Öktem is professionally immersed in curatorial practices, institutional leadership, and arts management both locally and internationally. In September 2017, she founded BüroSarıgedik, an artist management office in Turkey, representing leading artists from Turkey. Formerly, Sarıgedik Öktem was the senior director at Rampa Istanbul between 2013 and 2017. Between 2008 to 2010, she was the Project Manager at the British Council, where she led “My City,” a large-scale art project in public space in five different cities in Turkey. Sarıgedik Öktem served as a research curator at Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, NL between 2005 to 2007. She curated “A Dream ... but not Yours: Contemporary Art from Turkey” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC in 2010 and co-curated the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s “Atlas of Events” in 2007, an international exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the foundation. Sarıgedik Öktem worked as an assistant curator during the 9th Istanbul Biennial and the 3rd Berlin Biennial. She was one of the junior curators at the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art in Malmö in 2002. Between 2001 to 2002, she served as coordinator for the exhibition, talk, and screening programmes at Platform and ICAP (Istanbul Contemporary Art Project).

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Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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