Yeditepe Biennial

Unique artworks of our traditional arts have shown and still show up in quite different places in quite different forms for centuries without having a “biennial” title and without being locked up in a specific place. While precious artworks look at lover of arts 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 another 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, in cooperation with the Fatih Municipality and Classical Turkish Arts Foundation, and with the supports of important institutions and organisations of Turkey, is a project that does not have an equivalent in the world in terms of content.

Purpose of the Biennial

We can say that seeing and showing the scenery that will be created when the arts, which tries to find out whether designing tomorrow by looking at yesterday and reading today is applicable and the point reached when it is applied, and which reached out perfection and was thought discovering a new style was almost impossible, come side by side with modern arts that may earn a new style everyday is the purpose of Yeditepe Biennial at first step. However, there is a gradual purpose map feeding and breeding one another.

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 seperated, 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.

Along with the purposes such as exploring new places, opening out to public spaces, seizing the agenda with the activities raising awareness, and creating a new global language by attaining the common value of many cultures, it has a particular importance enabling the regions where the biennial places are located to have a common sharing by experiencing this dynamism within this period from tradesmen to educational institutions and from non-governmental organizations to the public enterprises.

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.

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.

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