Koç Holding Decided To Extend the Sponsorship of the Istanbul Biennial Until 2026

3 min

The 14th Istanbul Biennial, which requires no entrance fee, goes under way on Saturday, September 5. The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts is once again organizing the event with sponsorship from Koç Holding. Koç Holding Chairman Mustafa V. Koç stressed Koç Holding’s support for the Istanbul Biennial, which has been Turkey’s greatest contemporary art platform and one of the world’s top four most prominent biennials since 2007. “When we set out to sponsor the Istanbul Biennial in 2007, we gave a promise to support this impressive organization for a decade, which ends in 2016. Nevertheless, we have decided to extend our sponsorship until 2026, which also marks the centennial of Koç Holding. We also place great importance on contemporary art, for it represents freedom of expression and different points of view. We aspire to maintain our role in bringing contemporary arts to the masses while maintaining support for the arts in Turkey through our sponsorship of the Biennial and our soon-to-be-opened Museum of Modern Art.
The 14th Istanbul Biennial opens its doors for art lovers with the “SALT WATER: A Theory of Thought Forms” theme. The event is organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) and is sponsored by Koç Holding. It will be free to attend between September 5 - November 1, 2015. Under the curatorship of Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the 14th Istanbul Biennial features the works of over 80 artists and arts groups from all around the world at 36 different venues on the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. Koç Holding Chairman Mustafa V. Koç, along with Koç Holding Corporate Communications and External Affairs Director Oya Ünlü Kızıl and IKSV General Director Görgün Taner, visited ARTER, one of the venues at the 14th Istanbul Biennial.
Mustafa V. Koç said, “The Biennial opens a window of opportunity to internalize democracy and embrace diverse thought forms for those societies that display the courage to look without prejudice.”
Koç Holding Chairman Mustafa V. Koç expressed his delight with the Istanbul Biennial growing into a sought-after organization by an increasing number of people each year and distinguishing itself as one of the world's most prestigious contemporary art events. Mustafa V. Koç highlighted the core of the Biennial as a platform in which differences and diverse thoughts can be exhibited side by side. “The Biennial does not only open a window to appreciate artistic content. It also opens an opportunity to internalize democracy and embrace diverse thought forms for those societies that display the courage to look without prejudice. The Biennial compels one to question and digest dissimilar ideas, while at the same time proposing to the public various social issues in the language of the arts,” he said. “Art is one of the most fundamental indicators of social development,” said Mustafa V. Koç, citing the words of the Mayor of Athens, which were quoted by IKSV General Director Görgün Taner in an interview: “If there is something that will transform and save us, it is culture. Koç Holding uses all of its resources to achieve economic and social growth simultaneously and prioritizes support for culture," he added.
Mustafa V. Koç said, “The interest shown to the Istanbul Biennial is an indication of our tendency to respect diversity.”
He reminded people that the Biennial takes place in multiple venues spread along the Bosphorus on both sides of Istanbul. “The Biennial will expand throughout the city this year. This new step alone is a clear and explicit proof of the interest in the event. The Biennial is now an essential part of Istanbul’s cultural life. It is highly sought after, which makes us happy. When we began sponsoring the Istanbul Biennial, the number of people in attendance was around 90,000, whereas in 2013 that figure soared to 350,000, helped by the fact that it was free to attend. We aim to draw a crowd of nearly 500,000 people at the Biennial this year. Our greatest desire is to increase this number even higher through our sponsorship over the next decade,” he said. Mustafa V. Koç underlined how much it means to them to extend their sponsorship of the Istanbul Biennial until 2026, which they have been supporting since 2007. “We are delighted to be forging ahead for a second decade. In our sponsorship, like everything we do, we think in the long-term and act with a sense of being a partner in the projects we are involved in. Accordingly, we are overjoyed with the support that Koç Group companies give to various projects of the Istanbul Biennial. The sponsorship of the Biennial calls for a different approach and perspective, which, I believe, requires a certain maturity and vision. The Biennial is a platform that inherently contains many controversial works of art. At times, the Biennial featured pieces that were critical of the business world or addressed controversial social issues. From the first day, we have always kept out of the Biennial's content, artists' statements, and selection of the art pieces. That is how it is supposed to be. This was hard to explain a decade ago, whereas today, it is quite pleasing to see that the message has been received on the way it needs to be. The Istanbul Biennial has come such a long way over the past decade, aided by our sponsorship. I believe the reason behind this success lies with the rising interest in innovations and change, as well as the respect for diversity in Turkey.
Special Biennial events from Koç Holding
Koç Holding is supporting a series of events as part of the 14th Istanbul Biennial. Guided tours will be organized on a total four routes where people can enjoy the Biennial: one each in Karaköy and Büyükada, and two in Beyoğlu. Tickets for the tour are on sale at the ticket counters of the Biennial venues or from the Biletix sales system. Please send an email message to rehberlitur@iksv.org for more information or for reservations for guided tours. The 14th Istanbul Biennial will continue to feature the Training Programs for Children and Youth with support from Koç Holding and in collaboration with the IKSV and the PACE Children's Art Center. Children and young adults participating in the program will be accompanied on a visit around Büyükada between September 5-13, and Galata Greek Primary School between September 14 - November 1, except on Mondays. All participants, aged 8 to 18 years, in the “Training Programs for Children and Youth” will find an opportunity to develop their museum, travel, and exhibition culture by familiarizing themselves with fundamental and contemporary art concepts while discovering Istanbul in a creative and critical manner in light of the “Salt Water” theme of the 14th Istanbul Biennial by immersing themselves in a new kind of contemporary art experience. Training program workshops will be held in groups of 25 people in three different age groups: ages 8-11, 12- 14, and 15-18. Reservations are required to participate in the training program, which is offered free of charge with the support of Koç Holding. (For reservations: (212) 334 07 45- (549) 795 14 32 / cocuk@iksv.org - children@iksv.org )
Two publications are being prepared with support from the Vehbi Koç Foundation
The IKSV and Yapı Kredi Publications are putting together two publications with support from the Vehbi Koç Foundation for the 14th Istanbul Biennial, featuring exhibitions and public programs at 36 different venues. The Biennial Catalog will debut from September 5 for art lovers, presenting articles written especially for the event by art historians and curators such as Griselda Pollock, Elvan Zabunyan, Chus Martínez, and Alexander Provan as well as by world-renowned scientists in diverse fields, ranging from neuroscience to oceoanography, such as Vilayanur Ramachandran, Emin Özsoy, Jeffrey Peakall, and William Irvine. Original drawings of the participating artists in the Biennial will be displayed for the first time in the 600-page catalog, which Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, curator of the Istanbul Biennial, has put together with Süreyya Evren working as editor. The catalog also contains an anthology section that features diverse articles ranging from the 1st century to today that has been shaped with the selection of each artists. In addition to the catalog, a Biennial Guidebook has been put together to help visitors to the exhibition, which spreads out to six parts of Istanbul. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s articles will provide insight into the works and venues of the Biennial, which can be visited by taking trips for at least three days on sea and land. The maps, suggested routes, and practical transportation information in the books will make visits to the exhibition much easier. The Catalog and the Guidebook will be available at the Biennial venues and bookstores as well as from the websites: www.iksvtasarim.com or 14b.iksv.org .