Biennials & festivals

Elmgreen & Dragset bring a bit of Istanbul Biennial to Germany

Curators of this year’s show, with the theme of home and neighbourhoods, show key works at Munich museum

Mirak Jamal's At home, where the smell of steamed cabbage does not bother, where it's just me below my father (2017) Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Sahir Uğur Eren

The artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset have launched a mini version of this year’s Istanbul Biennial at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, entitled A Good Neighbour (14 December-29 April 2018). The Berlin-based Scandinavian artists brought together 56 artists for the biennial earlier this year in Istanbul, which focused on multiple notions of home and neighbourhoods; the German show features ten of these artists.

Michael Elmgreen tells The Art Newspaper: “We have advised the curator [Bernhart Schwenk, the head of contemporary art at the Pinakothek der Moderne], who wanted to show a small extract of the biennial exhibition. Many people from Germany didn’t dare to come to Istanbul, so this gives them the opportunity to at least get a sense of some of the works from A Good Neighbour.”

The artists outlined the theme last year, saying: “Home is approached as an indicator of diverse identities and a vehicle for self-expression, and neighbourhood as a micro-universe exemplifying some of the challenges we face in terms of co-existence today.”

The Munich show continues the concept with works on show by biennial artists such as Erkan Özgen (Wonderland, 2016), Burçak Bingöl (Follower, 2017) and Gözde Ilkin who has made embroidered textile pieces.

The exhibition also includes the film Exemplary (2009) by Canan, an established artist from Turkey, and the mixed-media installation What’s North, What’s South? (Children and Testimony) (1988) by the late Greek artist Vlassis Caniaris.