Istanbul Biennial and Art Jameel curators visit the Basque Country

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.


David Teh and Rahul Gudipudi, curators of the Istanbul Biennial and Art Jameel, respectively, are now visiting the Basque Country as part of the ZABAL programme. Their aim is to see local art projects, meet stakeholders, and understand models and practices with a view to promoting their lines of work and the exploring concepts.

David Teh, who is visiting the Basque Country from 12 to 15 July, will meet artists and curators whose work revolves around regionalism, in a broad and inclusive sense, and its connection with contemporary art. His interest also lies in the intersections between experimental art and literature.

Teh was born in Australia and is now in Singapore. Together with Ute Meta Bauer and Amar Kanwar, Teh is co-curator of the Istanbul Biennial, which will take place this year from 17 September to 20 November.

The curatorial team describes the Istanbul Biennial in its 17th edition as follows: "Rather than being a great tree, laden with sweet, ripe fruit, this biennial seeks to learn from the birds’ flight, from the once teeming seas, from the earth’s slow chemistry of renewal and nourishment. There may be no great gathering, no orchestrated coming together in one time and place; instead it might be a dispersal, an invisible fermentation. Its threads will be drawn together, but they will multiply and diverge, at different paces, crossing here and there but with no noisy culmination, no final knot. Let this biennial be compost. It may begin before it is to begin and continue well after it is over".

The Istanbul Biennial is a major art event that deepens intercultural dialogue and opens up new creative avenues for contemporary art. Held since 1987, it is Turkey’s largest showcase for the performing and visual arts. Its efforts have been instrumental in the expansion of new artistic and cultural outlets in this country, and have also provided a unique platform for international collaboration.

Rahul Gudipudi, curator of Art Jameel, is interested in artists who work with public art projects and integrate nature and communities into their practices. Agriculture, climate crisis, food systems, water rights, land sovereignty, governance, rurality, collective practices or indigenous knowledge systems are some of the themes he wants to explore during his stay from 11 to 15 July.

Art Jameel is an independent international arts organisation based in the UAE and Saudi Arabia that supports artists and creative communities. Its programmes - through exhibitions, commissions, research, learning and community building - are based on a dynamic understanding of the arts as fundamental to life and accessible to people of all backgrounds.

ZABAL programme

The Etxepare Basque Institute launched the ZABAL programme in 2019 for the purpose of raising the international projection of contemporary Basque creation, and to forge links between the Basque and international art worlds. The programme also strives to develop new forms of collaboration and to build lasting relations between the Institute and the leading international contemporary exhibitions.

To create international networks that promote long-term exchange and collaboration between local and international creators, professionals, stakeholders, and institutions Etxepare invites curators, art critics and museum directors from around the world to the Basque Country to establish direct relationships with local artists and, if possible, include them in their events.

In 2019, Ruth Estévez, curator of the São Paulo Biennial, was the first guest, followed by the Jakarta-based artists’ collective Ruangrupa, artistic directors of Documenta Fifteen. After the hiatus imposed by the pandemic, the programme continued with a visit by Marina Otero, curator at the Shanghai Art Biennial 2021.

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