Orientalism, Postcolonial hybridity, Istanbul Biennial, Transcultural, In-between
This paper looks at the 15th Istanbul Biennial (2017) titled “a good neighbour” predominantly from Edward Said’s orientalist and Homi Bhabha’s postcolonial frameworks. Istanbul’s geographical positioning of being situated between the East and the West effectively suggests the presence of an orientalist binary, as well as a transcultural ‘third space’ in light of these theoretical frameworks. This research traces an absence of the orientalist attitude, and moves beyond the boundary lines of cultural difference in analyzing the curatorial strategies and the conceptualization of “a good neighbour”. The curatorial statement of the biennial, as well as the selected artworks mentioned here reveal the layers of hybridity and embody a state of ‘in- betweenness’ of “a good neighbour”. In its critical approach, this paper draws on relevant sources and the historical context of Turkey in order to shed light upon the geographical and ideological characteristics of Istanbul’s contemporary art scene.
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