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At the Istanbul Biennial 2011: "Untitled" (Passport), 2011, installation photo by Natalie Barki
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THE BIENNIAL AS CURATORIUM
by Patricia Watts



This year’s 12th edition of the Istanbul Biennial (Sept. 17-Nov. 13, 2011), designated “Untitled,” is likely to disappoint -- that is, if you are looking for what we might expect from a biennial: a large, open-ended survey of recent global contemporary art. What you will see instead is actually akin to a museum exhibition, a focused, thematic and interpreted group of artworks -- a curatorium, if you will -- and as such, it is a bold (if problematic) move on the part of co-curators Jens Hoffman, director of San Francisco’s Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, and Adriano Pedrosa, an independent curator based in São Paulo.

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