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Istanbul Biennial Controversy: Campaign Group Demands Accountability and Transparency

Artists and Cultural Workers Call for İKSV to Address Concerns Over Curator Selection and Withdrawal of Participants

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – A campaign group concerned about the future of the Istanbul Biennial is demanding accountability and transparency from the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the private foundation that administers the event.

The controversy stems from the İKSV’s decision to reject the advisory board’s recommendation for the curator of the next biennial and instead appoint Iwona Blazwick, a former director of London’s Whitechapel Gallery. The decision led to the withdrawal of four artists from the exhibition and calls for greater transparency from the İKSV.

Participants in two forums held in January have released a statement outlining their concerns. They argue that the İKSV’s response to the controversy has been inadequate and that it has failed to acknowledge or take responsibility for the withdrawal of the artists.

The group is calling for İKSV to engage in future forums to address these concerns and to implement structural changes to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the decision-making process.

In a statement to The Art Newspaper, the İKSV said it is committed to building and enhancing dialogue and that it will participate in future forums.

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