5th International Istanbul Biennial.
Curator: Rosa Martínez.
October 5 to November 9. 1997. Istanbul. Turkey.

Ahtila. Eija-Liisa
Alaez, Ana Laura
Almeida, Helena
Altindere, Halil
Antoni, Janine
Ataman, Kutlug
Avsar, Vahap
Aziz, Sükran
Berksoy, Semiha
Berlin, Meta Isaeus
Bodnar, Eva Eszter
Bony, Oscar
Bourgeois, Louise
Bournigault, Rebecca
Buetti, Daniel
Caeckenbergh, Patrick van
Cattelan, Maurizio
Creten, Johan
Cross, Dorothy
Davis, Yael
Diller & Scofidio
Durham, Jimmie
Eliasson, Olafur
Emin, Tracey
Erdem, Türkan
Feyzdjou, Chohreh
François, Michel
Gill, Symrin
Golec, Leszek and Tatiana Czekalska
González Torres, Félix
Grigely, Joseph
Gutiérrez, Yolanda
Guzmán, Federico
Hauswolff, Michel von
Hemmo, Irit
Herrán, Juan Fernando
Hoeck, Richard
Höller, Carsten
Ibrahim, Bedi
Janssens, Ann Veronica
Kim, Soo-Ja
Kosmaoglou, Sofia
Kulik, Oleg
Lakner, Antal
Langa, Moshekwa
Lindal, Anna
Lislegaard, Ann
Maestro, Lani
Massumi, Elahe
Mateus, Cristina
McCaslin, Matthew
Mendieta, Ana
Miralda, Antoni
Moral, Sükran
Mori, Mariko
Navridis, Nikos
Neshat, Shirin
Neuenschwander, Rivane
Obregón, Roberto
Özseçen, Ebru
Pérez Bravo, Marta María
Piña, Manuel
May Post, Liza
Qiang, Cai Guo
Rakauskaite, Egle
Ribeiro, Flávia
Rist, Pipilotti
Romanos, Chryssa
Rosenfeld, Lotty
Semmes, Beverly
Sterbak, Jana
Sussman, Eve
Sangar, Bülent
Taylor-Wood, Sam
Tian-Miao, Lin
Valldosera, Eulàlia
Vickerson, Laura
Wallinger, Mark
Weber, Martin
Wirkkala, Maaria

'On Life, Beauty, Translations and Other Difficulties'

Under the title "On Life, Beauty, Translations and Other Difficulties" the 5th Istanbul Biennial synthetizes the desire to approach and explore some important points of discussion in contemporary esthetic thought and creation: the borderlines that separate art and life; the search for new meanings of beauty, and the awareness that we need languages to communicate even if translations produce displacements of meaning.

Besides its appearance as a totally autonomous entity, and the awareness that, as with any other language, it has its own laws, art also acts as a medium to relate human beings to different areas of reality, and may be considered as a translation, a vehicle for reinterpreting and creating new ways of perceiving and transforming the world. The pleasure of beauty, the strength and the intensity of an aesthetic experience in which emotions function as a form of knowledge is needed in those processes of comunication in which the 'other', as Duchamp said, is required to complete the meaning of the artwork.

An artwork may be seen as a terminal, a point of arrival and departure
between life and language, a space where one can play with signs generated by other fields of knowledge and experience (science, technology, mass media, politics, physicality, sexual identity...), a place where it is possible to value and to transform relations with the 'others' by articulating, to different degrees of intensity, the understanding of nature and the multiplicity of cultural differences, so we can move from the 'pasive aesthetics of mirrors' to a changing, multi-faceted and active 'aesthetics of prisms', where the gaze is multidirectional and inclusive.

Without neglecting the need for content, ideology or pathos, art is
striving to recover the vertigo and intensity associated with the idea of beauty. Beauty is not timeless and universal, beauty is a subjective experience linked to the rhetoric of appearance, to the linguistic qualities of the signifier and the pleasure that they produce in the beholder. Aesthetic values depend on historical and cultural variations of taste and today, from a holistic perspective, we can move from beauty to content and integrate mind and body, thought and emotion, rhetoric and philosophy, pleasure and knowledge to achieve a new conception of life.

Translation is implied in any form of creation. Creation is a displacement, a movement from one field (life, culture, experience) to another (visual or poetic languages...). Art today embodies a nomadic experience; it is becoming a form of energy related to displacement.
The desire to explore the differential spaces, the places of the 'others' and the fluidity and difficulties of translation between different contexts are being reviewed as a means of reinterpreting our position in the contemporary world.

To travel between those different spheres (cultural, sexual, linguistic...) is a journey of adventure with various risks and difficulties. The process of exploring and overcoming these difficulties is intrinsic in issues related to translation, life and beauty.