Press Release

The 16th Istanbul Biennial, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, will be titled, The Seventh Continent.



International exhibitions

International Archives 2nd half of 2019

16th Istanbul Biennial, The Seventh Continent
Various locations Istanbul (Turkey)
14.09 - 10.11.2019




16th Istanbul Biennial, The Seventh Continent

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2019. All Rights Reserved

16th Istanbul Biennial, September 14–November 10, 2019.  Various locations Istanbul (Turkey)







One of the most visible effects of the Anthropocene, the new geological era characterised by the impact of human activities upon the planet, is the formation of a huge mass of waste that has been called "The Seventh Continent"—3.4 million square kilometres, 7 million tons of floating plastic in the Pacific Ocean. The 16th Istanbul Biennial will explore this new continent: a world where humans and non-humans, our mass-productive systems and natural elements, drift together, reduced to particles of waste.

Today, we are acknowledging that the canonical western division between nature and culture has come to an end. The Anthropocene theory has contributed to this awareness, as the impact of human activities on nature generates an intertwined world where culture is reintegrating into nature, and vice-versa. Meanwhile, due to the increasing interconnections between cultures, as well as the development of transportation and migratory flows, the old centres are turning into megapolises sheltering a multitude of micro-cultures.

The Seventh Continent is an anthropology of an off-centered world and an archaeology of our times. It defines today’s art as an archipelago of diverse enquiries into global life, tracking the prints of human activity on the earth and our impact on its non-human inhabitants.

The context of Istanbul is particularly well chosen for this theme, because the city and the whole country are not yet very aware of the harmful effects of plastic waste. In the capital, residents still use 400 plastic bags a year for an average of 15 minutes, abandoned anywhere ... and sorting of waste almost does not exist. A great awareness to organize on site!

The 16th Istanbul Biennial is organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Koç Holding as well as other supporters, international funders, and funding bodies to be announced.

Design : ONAGÖRE

Design : ONAGÖRE