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Στιγμιότυπο οθόνης 2024-01-31, 10.57.31 μμ.png

“Looking at the Same Water"

Izmir Mediterranean Biennial

Organized by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality in collaboration with K2 Contemporary Art Center, Izmir Mediterranean Biennial meets the audience on January 23, 2024 in the city of Izmir, Türkiye.


With the theme of "Looking at the Same Water" and under the artistic direction of Ayşegül Kurtel, the Biennial showcases the works of 32 participants from 17 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The Biennial, organized at Kültürpark Atlas Pavilion Art Gallery, will be open to visitors from January 23 to March 11. The Biennial includes works produced in many different disciplines such as painting, photography, video, multimedia installation, ceramics, three-dimensional audiovisual installation. 


Within the scope of the Izmir Mediterranean Biennial, an artist-in-residence program was organized in which Biennial artists from countries bordering the Mediterranean, including Türkiye, produced their works simultaneously. Four young artists and an art collective from the region affected by the February 6, 2023 earthquake disaster in Türkiye took part in the program as part of a specially created quota. The program was held at K2 Urla Breathing Zone between September 11 and October 22, 2023.


During the residency program, the artists had the opportunity to explore the multi-layered historical-cultural heritage and dynamic atmosphere of Izmir while producing their works to be exhibited at the Biennial. They also met with the audience through artist presentations. The aim of these interactions was to encourage the exchange of ideas, techniques and perspectives, both now and in the future, with the aim of transcending borders and enriching each artist's creative journey.


Within the framework of the Biennial, a program of events including performances, panels and talks will be organized with the participation of artists from Türkiye and Mediterranean countries, cultural and artistic actors, academics and experts working on the Mediterranean. 


Izmir Mediterranean Biennial is being organized for the first time within the framework of the vision of Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, to strengthen Izmir's leading role in the Mediterranean and transform Izmir into a city of art. The Biennial reinforces the dialogue between Mediterranean cultures and societies to sustain pluralism, diversity and freedom through art, while making visible the cultural and artistic capacity of the region. Bringing together the perspectives of artists with different experiences, the Biennial emphasizes the importance of living together with common denominators and differences.

32 Participants from 17 Mediterranean Countries 


The Biennial exhibition, which will be held at Kültürpark Atlas Pavilion Art Gallery with the theme "Looking at the Same Water" between January 23 and March 11, 2024, will present the works of 32 participants from 17 countries bordering the Mediterranean.


The age criteria of the Izmir Mediterranean Biennial, whose participants are artists under the age of 35, was determined with reference to the standards of the International Association of the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (BJCEM), of which Izmir Metropolitan Municipality is a member. The aim was to create a platform for young artists from the Mediterranean while opening up space for new forms of expression.


Artists whose works will take part in the Biennial are Alex Brajković, Ana Aleksić, Bawer Doanay, Berfin Ataman, Berna Dolmacı, Can Büyükberber, Claudio Zorzi, Dalea Kovačec, Erdem Çolak, Fredj Moussa, Garance Alves, Greta Pllana, Laura Besançon, Levi Viller, Mahdi Baraghithi, Malak Elghuel, Marko Damiš, Mehdi Hachid, Merkezkaç Sanat Kolektifi, Nelly El Sharkawy, Nermin Sena Özger, Nesligül Cebesoy, Nour Abou Saada, Öznur Yıldırım, Revan Yaşar, Smirna Kulenović, Soufian Chemcham, Stratis Tavlaridis, Talha Demiral, Vladimir Novak, Yağmur Kevser Barutçu and Yassine Sellame.


“Looking at the Same Water”


If the sea is considered as a symbol for various levels of consciousness, how can societies living on the same waterfronts connect with these levels of collective consciousness through different perspectives and spatial relations? If these perspectives and forms of relationship are revealed in a common area, can the Mediterranean identity be evaluated through an objective reality?


The Mediterranean people have been looking at the same water for a very long time. It has been a dreamlike source of inspiration for ancient and contemporary cultures. Its turquoise waters are a major tank of marine biodiversity confronted with a delicate ecological balance.


Maybe now is a good time to see our reflections in the water. Perhaps recognizing one another through the clarity of the water will open a new space. As poet Edip Cansever puts in his poem “The Rest Remains”, winking at the Mediterranean, this space will set us free “like a boat freshly launched into the water”.

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