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The Pavilion of Turkey at the 58th Venice Biennale
May 11 - November 24, 2019
Opening: May 9, 2019
Artist: İnci Eviner
Curator: Zeynep Öz
Location: Sale d'Armi Nord, Arsenale, Venice
Commissioner: Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV)
We, Elsewhere, a new work by İnci Eviner will be presented in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, to be held from 11 May through 24 November 2019. Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Fiat, the Pavilion of Turkey will be curated by Zeynep Öz and located at Sale d’Armi, which is one of the main exhibition venues of La Biennale di Venezia.
We, Elsewhere is created as a site-specific installation for the Pavilion of Turkey at the 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia and makes use of elements such as reconfigured objects as well as drawings, video, sound, and performance. It is an investigation into the spaces that we create, and are created for us as a result of collective displacement. The exhibition ruminates on how subjects who find themselves in these spaces react and interact with one another and with their memories. Various elements of sound, reconfigured objects and characters crafted by Eviner evoke the sense of a search for the missing, the erased and that which is elsewhere. A certain aggression and abruptness comes out in the characters’ everyday behaviour informing their identities in transition. The space itself, in which visitors are invited to walk along the ramps, courtyards and edges, displays permeability, allowing views through cuts and cracks along the walls. The paths punctuated by the objects suggest the way in which memory eases conflicts. Together, the characters, the space and the paths tell a story akin to Hannah Arendt’s narrative of struggles in We Refugees.
At the press conference held at Salon İKSV on Tuesday, 12 February, where the conceptual framework was announced, İnci Eviner said: “These figures are constantly changing places through the space to find their other halves. This effort is actually an attempt to reclaim their interrupted and invalidated memory and bodies. In doing so, mythologies and memories, the habits of everyday life, their joy and sorrow need to be picked up one by one and put into place. I try to keep myself in and out of events to witness all of this. The responsibility of being a witness is in the questioning of being "us".
Regarding Eviner’s practice and her new work, Zeynep Öz said: “Eviner uses the architectural component in We, Elsewhere as the stage on which elements of action come together in order to think through issues of migration and confinement in shaping continuously shifting subjectivities.”
İnci Eviner works with names from different disciplines for We, Elsewhere. The architectural design of the project was created by Birge Yıldırım Okta and Gürkan Okta, whereas the sound design is by Tolga Tüzün. The video which will be reflected in Pavilion of Turkey will include the performance artists and dancers Canan Yücel Pekiçten, Melih Kıraç and Gülden Arsal. Director of photography of the video is Aydın Sarıoğlu and the video post-production team includes Cem Gökçimen and Cem Perin.
The exhibition’s visual identity and the upcoming book, which will accompany the exhibition and will be available at the opening of the Pavilion of Turkey, are designed by Okay Karadayılar and Ali Taptık (ONAGÖRE).
The Pavilion of Turkey at La Biennale di Venezia is coordinated by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and realised through the sponsorship of Fiat, with the production support of SAHA Association with the contribution of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. The Pavilion of Turkey’s long term venue opened at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia in 2014 for the first time, upon a 20-year allotment of the Arsenale with İKSV’s initiation and the contribution of 21 supporters.