Bige Örer

Istanbul Biennial and İKSV Contemporary Art Projects Director

As the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the fact that the city we live in provides spaces for different communities to get together, gives us great excitement. The new collaboration possibilities that arise from the developing culture and art universe, shape our work as well as keeping our enthusiasm and hope alive. We cherish each other, grow together, and take our strength from each other. The fact that Istanbul’s cultural infrastructure is open for improvement makes us always think through creative and alternative models.

There are a number of museums, galleries and art venues, as well as galleries and projects organized by independent initiatives, in the cultural ecosystem of our city. The 16th Istanbul Biennial, which we started in September this year, was welcomed warmly both in local and international arenas.

The biennial once again set the agenda of the city with more than a hundred parallel events, many of them related to the Seventh Continent, the title of the 16th Istanbul Biennial, organized under the leadership of different formations. The fact that the biennial has created such a wide-ranging dialogue, and the contribution it has made to the dynamism of the city, shows that our efforts have reached their goal.

Istanbul, which has been central to many civilisations and cultures for centuries, is one of the most dynamic metropolises in the world. Despite its limited opportunities compared to many other cities, Istanbul, which is a fast-changing city where many cultures intertwine, has a culture and art world that manages to see these obstacles as an arena rather than an impediment. As İKSV, we support these productions, and by saying “art for everyone”, we try to make culture and art a part of everyone’s lives, not just one class. We believe culture and art is a basic human need, and that its reformatory, restorative and critical power plays a key role in overcoming difficulties. We hope that the “Facebook Istanbul Community Guide”, which was created by Facebook communities and which can also be found at the 16th Istanbul Biennial venues, will have an encouraging effect on people so that they can be part of the culture and art community in Istanbul and interact with each other.

Of course, all of this is impossible without you, artlovers. You are the ones that deserve our most appreciation. Together, I hope to explore the different stories of Istanbul through art.