16th Istanbul Biennial
The Seventh Continent
Pera Museum will host the 16th Istanbul Biennial, organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). The theme of the biennial, curated by French curator, author and academic Nicolas Bourriaud; is The Seventh Continent.
According to Bourriaud, each venue that hosts the biennial represents a different facet of the exhibition. Pera Museum will be transformed into an anthropology museum of parallel worlds — a place for faux-archeology and artists who reinvent history. As part of the Istanbul Biennial, Pera Museum will exhibit the works of 13 artists that rediscover the past. The lists of artists include Anzo, Pia Arke, Charles Avery, Norman Daly, Ernst Haeckel, Evru/Zush, Sanam Khatibi, Melvin Moti, Glauco Rodrigues, Luigi Serafini, Paul Sietsema, Simon Starling, and Piotr Uklański.
The Seventh Continent describes art as a form of anthropology that explores the impact of humans, the ways they follow, the marks they leave behind, and their interaction with the non-human. The biennial takes its name from the colossal garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean, which is considered to be one of the most visible effects of the Anthropocene period alongside global warming. This mass, dubbed the “Seventh Continent” in popular science, is an aggregation of plastic weighing 7 million tonnes and covering an area of 3.4 million square kilometers. On occasion of the 16th Istanbul Biennial, this phenomenon of a man-made continent of garbage in the middle of the ocean will serve as a starting point for discussions and debates by artists, thinkers, anthropologists, and environmentalists on the current position of art against ecological challenges.
Having hosted the Istanbul Biennial since 2015, Pera Museum will again be presenting the event on three floors this year. As part of the biennial, the Civilization of Llhuros – widely regarded as a pioneering effort of archeological art and the culmination of Norman Daly’s over 40 years of comprehensive and meticulous work – will be exhibited on such a large scale for the first time.
Curated by French author and academic Nicolas Bourriaud, The Seventh Continent-themed biennial will take place in three locations (the historic Istanbul Shipyards (Tersane Istanbul), Pera Museum, and Büyükada) from September 14 to November 10, 2019, showcasing the art of 57 artists and artists’ collectives from 26 countries. Admission to the biennial will be free of charge.
During the course of the exhibition, Pera Museum will also present programs developed by the 16th Istanbul Biennial in collaboration with Pera Learning and Pera Film.
Venue entries require a personal QR code, which can be acquired by filling out the online form at or through the registration desks at the venues. Visitors are advised to register online prior to their visit to avoid long queues and ensure a pleasant visit.