Marcus Graf on the History of the Istanbul Biennale

The International Istanbul Biennial is a contemporary art exhibition that is held every two years in Istanbul, Turkey, since 1987. The current edition, the 11th International Istanbul Biennial bears the title “What Keeps Mankind Alive?”, curated by the Zagreb-based curator collective WHW – What, How & for Whom (Ivet Curlin, Ana Devic, Natasa Ilic and Sabina Sabolovic), and runs until November 8, 2009.

Shortly before the official opening of the 11th Istanbul Biennale we met with Marcus Graf, Head of the Guided Tours Department of the Istanbul Biennale (many thanks to Hans Dieter Huber and Sebastian Baden!). Marcus Graf lives and woks in Istanbul since 2001. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Contemporary Art History, Aesthetic and Art Theory at Stuttgart Art Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. The topic of his work is the history of the Istanbul Biennial.

In this interview, Marcus Graf gives a short introduction into the history of the Istanbul Biennale and sets the current edition in relation to this history.

Marcus Graf was born in Germany in 1974. After studying Fine Arts (Painting) and Culture and Arts Management he has worked for several institutions of art and culture as a curator, instructor, project manager or artist.

Istanbul / Turkey, September 11, 2009.

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