A CONVERSATION WITH ELMGREEN & DRAGSET UPON THE 15TH ISTANBUL BIENNIAL

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. Photo ©Clint Spaulding/PatrickMcMullan.

Elmsgreen & Dragset: “ Art is the outset of a societal healing process and we must show that we are in solidarity during this process.”

Elm green and Dragnet duo, the curators of 15th Istanbul Biennial that will be implemented between September 16 and November 17, participated to a panel discussion at Flag Art Foundation in New York. This duo combine a Denmark and Norwegian born artists took part in several biennials including Venice and İstanbul biennials with their socio-cultural themed, dark humoured works.

The old projects and commissioned works of these artists had been reviewed in this two hours panel discussion, however the real focus of the panel was İstanbul Biennial. The artists gave interesting responses to the questions such as “ Do the recent events in Turkey worry you?, What are your expectations in an environment where censorship, oppression and limitation are so intense?”.

Photo: Courtesy of Veronique DUPONT/AFP/Getty Images via Art Production Fund.

What they said are the following:  We think that art is the outset of a societal healing process and we must show that we are in solidarity during this process. Of course the recent events in Turkey are very worrisome. However, many problems occur in many countries and indeed they are all interrelated. We are not withdrawn by such experiences, as a matter of fact this creates a more interesting environment to work. Art becomes more important during the times in which we cannot express ourselves freely; it becomes an independent language that not do everybody understand. In this regard, İstanbul Biennial is very important for us because we think that this biennial will increase social solidarity and  even gather people with different opinions together in such difficult times.

JASMIN KOHEN

Elmgreen & Dragset, rendering of “Van Gogh’s Ear” (2016).
Photo: Courtesy of the Public Art Fund.
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