"Art Of Change: Strategies For Cultural Survival”


A Panel: "Art Of Change: Strategies For Cultural Survival” Part of A GOOD NEIGHBOUR realized as a part of the

15th Istanbul Biennial’s Neighbouring Events Programme

Press Release
Vittorio Urbani
Panelists: Ayşe Erek, Beral Madra, Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu Organised by: Open Dialogue Istanbul & Nuova Icona
Curated by: Billur Tansel & Vittorio Urbani
Date: Friday, 15 September 2017
Location: Cezayir, Firuzağa Mahallesi, Hayriye Cad. No:12, Istanbul Time: 10:00-12:00

“A biennial can be a platform for dialogue, and a format in which diverse opinions, perspectives, and communities can coexist.” Elmgreen & Dragset

As the 15th Istanbul Biennial curators Elmgreen & Dragset view the biennial as a platform for a dialogue in which diverse opinions, perspectives and communities can coexist; this panel will consist of cross-disciplinary guest spea- kers dealing with the subject of “Art Of Change: Strategies For Cultural Survival” studied by professionals with diffe- rent backgrounds with an expertise in the critique, management, curating, history of art and architechure. Cultural perspectives and artistic practice will also be points of reflection.

The panel will be moderated by Vittorio Urbani (Curator, Founder of Nuova Icona); and the lecturers that will take part in this panel are Ayşe Erek (Academician and Art Historian), Beral Madra (Curator & Art Critic), Mehmet Kütük- çüoğlu (Architect & Founder of Teğet Architecture, one of the co-curators of the Turkish Pavillion of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale). The project will be realised as a part of the 15th Istanbul Biennial's neighbouring events programme, hosted by Cezayir.

We will look at how these professionals from different backgrounds view the same subject and how their perspectives coming from different educational backgrounds and interests can change their approach and analysis. Since the participants of this panel have all had experience in different biennials; examples of different biennials in various countries will be studied as ways of presenting visual culture and as a means of dialogue and cultural mediators between borders and disciplines of art. The relation between the materiality of the city and architecture, the existing system of art institutions, independent art initiatives, the existing cultural policy, the question of creating alternative spaces/ solutions for art, city, neighborhood, new potentials, the sharing of rules, style of management and ethics in the way institutions deal with artists will be amongst the topics to be discussed in the framework of the quick pace of change that reigns in the world today.

Realised as part of 15th Istanbul Biennial's neighbouring events programme



Open Dialogue Istanbul, founded by Billur Tansel in July 2015, was initially a nomad international contemporary art project that organized various cultural events on different platforms in Istanbul and abroad.

Since October 2016, being based in Valikonağı street, Teşvikiye amongst the other services it provides, it has been organizing and conducting educational programs for kids between the ages of 4-22 and adults in its own premises.

Open Dialog Istanbul has been organizing and realizing curatorial art projects and providing consultancy services to art institutions, collectors, students that plan a career in the art field and artists.
Open Dialogue Istanbul presents various educational workshops for kids and youths between 4-22 years old, and custom made educational programs for adults and companies with its professional education team.

One of its other important missions is encouraging and developing cultural dialogues between artists, curators and writers on an international level.

Open Dialogue Istanbul purposes to provide a platform to young curators, artists and writers, as well as an on the field training opportunity to art students with no such experience.


Nuova Icona – “associazione culturale per le arti” is a non profit cultural association, founded by a group of private individuals in Venice in 1993, dedicated to the support and promotion of contemporary visual arts. The association helps artists in developing their projects; welcomes and seeks collaboration and sponsorship, either to link the artists’ project to the community, either to fund them. With an experimental attitude in contemporary art, Nuova Icona views itself as the organizative element, the active layer between the public and the artist, a workshop where new projects can be realized.

Under the artistic direction of Vittorio Urbani, since 1993 Nuova Icona has mounted over 200 exhibitions, most of which were of national and international relevance.

Since 1995 Nuova Icona has organized – in the position of Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner – in collaboration with the Curators and National Authorities, the national ocial participations of Ireland in Venice Biennale for many years; it has since collaborated with Turkey (Biennale 2001, 2003, 05), Scotland (2003), Bulgaria (Architectural Biennial 2008), India (Collateral Exhibition, 2005), Finland (2005), Azerbaijan (2007, 09, 11), Lebanon (2007), Wales (2003, 05, 07, 09), Palestine (2009), Iraq (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017) and Central Asian Republics (2009).

In the last few years, a growing wealth of working contacts with the East (Turkey, Georgia, Iraq, Armenia, Lebanon, Palestine and Azerbaijan) has been source of a new strategy. Reconsidering the centuries-old Venetian tradition of commerce and diplomatic relationships with the Middle East, Nuova Icona is interested in going further in this direc- tion, favouring the growth of new working links between Europe and the M.E. through the traditional gate, Venice.

Nuova Icona stands as an independent but accomplished cultural entity. At 24 years of age, Nuova Icona brings the contradiction of being together the oldest not for profit cultural organization dedicated to contemporary visual art in Venice and a 20 year old individuality capable of fresh and critical approach to the international art scene.

Realised as part of 15th Istanbul Biennial's neighbouring events program