20 June 2017
A PROJET NOT HAVING AN EQUIVALENT IN THE WORLD: YEDITEPE BIENNIAL
The ‘Yeditepe Biennial’, which is organized under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey and with the cooperation of the Fatih Municipality and Classical Turkish Arts Foundation, opens its doors in the Historical Peninsula Fatih.
Over 600 artists participate in the ‘Yeditepe Biennial’, opening of which will be made with the presence of our President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with more than 3 thousand artworks. Almost 30 historical buildings host the biennial that includes more than one hundred projects.
Unique artworks of our traditional arts have shown up and still show up in quite different places in quite different forms for centuries and for an indefinite period of time without having a “biennial” title and without being locked up in a specific place. While precious artworks look at art lovers behind from bell jars with all of their untouchableness, people in Istanbul may lean against to tile panels of Rustem Pasha Mosque and sleep, another one of which does not exist.
Even though such an acquaintance brings along the blindness and negligence, it does not change the reality that the eyes of people living in this city get accustomed to beauty where a different artwork occupies a corner, and their sense of aesthetic is kneaded with what they see regardless of their awareness.
Yeditepe Biennial is a move to raise the peak, which our traditional arts reached with a disciplined freedom, a little bit further by bringing the traditional and modern artworks produced by the artist of this age together with the thematic multiple exhibition form, which is called as “biennial”.
Yeditepe Biennial, which will be held between the dates of March 31, 2018 – May 15, 2018 under the auspices of the Presidency of the Turkish Republic, and in cooperation with the Fatih Municipality and Classical Turkish Arts Foundation, and with the supports of important institutions and organizations of Turkey, is a project that does not have an equivalent in the world in terms of content.
First Theme Of The First Biennial: “Ehl-I Hiref”
‘Hırfet’ means profession, art and occupation as a word. ‘Hiref’, the plural of hırfet, is used as a word expressing the art and craft together in the Ottoman Turkish. Almost all kinds of production based on hand workmanship was considered within the scope of hırfet, and the producers were named as ehl-i hiref (craftsmen / artisans). Ehl-i Hiref of the palace is the educated production organization that is consisted of various units, which artists and craftsman are connected to.
Ehl-i Hiref, which embodied master artisans in all art branches from miniature artists to armorer and from illuminator to goldsmith existent in the Ottoman period, was the most competent institution in the production of artworks for three hundred years until the XVIII. Century.
Ehl-i Hiref was the organization that created the characteristic unique structure of the Ottoman art, which is called as “palace style”, both with the artists, which it trained in Enderun within its own organization, and the famous masters on the peak of their arts who came out of palace. Ehl-i Hiref, which was organized with the moral values such as modesty and generosity and the understanding of Turkish-Islamic guild in order to carry out the artistic activities of the palace, is the magnificent projection of the political power and mastership of the Ottoman Empire in arts.
Along with the aim of showing what kind of function the organization had in the past, and what kind of timeless impact it still has, Yeditepe Biennial aims to show the present situation of our traditional arts, which this organization laid down the foundations of, have reached, and the effect of the tradition in the artworks produced in the new art branches of the new ages.
We want to see the reflection of our civilization, which has a need-based or value-based philosophy of art, in today’s arts and artists also in the biennial structure, because the content of our art is quite rich in terms of metaphor attribution occurring in the biennials atmosphere.
Our Cultural Codes Meet
Yeditepe Biennial is the “first” biennial embodying the artworks, which include fabrics and forms belonging to our cultural codes, which are blended in our geography for centuries, enlivened with the colors of Saka, Hun, Gokturk, Uyghur, Hazar, Artuk, Sokmen, Avar, Kara-Khandis, Seljuq and many more, embroidered by the pen of Hittite, Sumer, Babylon and many more, taking in Yesevi breath and reaching out to sky with Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi. It is the first biennial, because any biennial, which includes all of these, where the artworks of domestic and neighboring (not foreigner, neighbor) artists in the same art branches come together or separated, embraces everything and flourishes them within its body, has not been made yet. The second purpose of the biennial at the second stage is improving this integrative point of view and make it steadfast in this age where everything was atomized.