Extract

Noah’s Ark on the Golden Horn

Istanbul Biennial, Fezhane, 1992

  • Biennial entries from Bulgaria, Russia and Poland.

Unlike the much older Venice Biennale, at the Istanbul Biennial there was a feeling of youthful experimentation, a sense that the participating countries had not sent their heaviest artistic guns, but those who are still on the cutting edge of what passes for the avant garde.

The newly restored Fezhane, a former fez factory on the Golden Horn, provides exactly the sort of flexible, neutral space required by contemporary installation artists. With fifteen different countries exhibiting in the same building, there was a sense of intimacy most big international group shows lack.

The British Council sent two very young artists, Hannah Collins and Damien Hirst. Collins exhibited blown-up black and white photographs of no particular visual or conceptual interest. At first glance Hirst, who has been shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize, looked as vacuous as she did, but in his case first impressions are deceptive.

The Acquired Inability to Escape is nothing more than a severe and rather elegant glassed-in rectangle. Inside are a table, chair, cigarette, cigarette lighter, and an ashtray filled with cigarette butts.

This is not a sculpture so much as a three-dimensional still life with sinister narrative overtones.

To read the full article, purchase Issue 3

Issue 3, 1992/93 The Pink House
£30.00 / $38.59 / 210.77 TL
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Buy the issue
Issue 3, 1992/93 The Pink House
£30.00 / $38.59 / 210.77 TL
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