Pavilion of Turkey at the Venice International Architecture Biennale

Turkey inaugurated its debut exhibition, Places of Memory, at its long-term pavilion at the prestigious Arsenale. One of the newest countries to participate in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, Turkey’s project Places of Memory is a thought-provoking and lyrical exhibition that examines Istanbul’s urban transformation. The exhibition is commissioned by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), and curated by architect Murat Tabanlıoğlu.

Using subjectivity as the starting point, Places of Memory explores how an individual relates to a city, through the daily exchange with the built environment. The exhibition brings together a group of artists and architects from Turkey to reflect their subjective views of urbanism and place. The team, headed by Murat Tabanlıoğlu and coordinated by Pelin Derviş, has spent the last seven months exploring and documenting their own relationships to Istanbul. Three areas of the city, Taksim-Karaköy, Bab-ı Ali/Sirkeci and Büyükdere, are examined through different scales, and different media. The result is an intelligent and arresting personal narration of what Istanbul means to the people who live there.

Tabanlıoğlu explains “Living in a city like Istanbul—which is experiencing an incredible urban transformation, especially in the last decade—it seems vital to look at what really is happening. Being aware that architecture and the built environment are not solely related to their subjects, but also related to our own memories about the place, it seems crucial to ask: what if we lose these? Are we about to lose our own memories? Let’s for a while try to relate to the built environment through our own experiences, through our own past, through a subjective approach to feel what it means to us.”

The exhibition book, also titled Places of Memory, is prepared to accompany the project based on interviews with Murat Tabanlıoğlu, Pelin Derviş, Alper Derinboğaz, Metehan Özcan, Candaş Şişman, Ali Taptık and Serkan Taycan, conducted by Luca Molinari, the curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia in 2010. Edited by Pelin Derviş and designed by Aslı Altay (Future Anecdotes Istanbul) who has also designed the communication materials of the project, the Places of Memory book is now available at the opening of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in English and Turkish, and is subsequently sold in bookstores.

For 2014, the Pavilion of Turkey is co-sponsored by Schüco Turkey and VitrA at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia that runs from 7 June through to 23 November. Places of Memory is curated by Murat Tabanlıoğlu, project coordinator is Pelin Derviş, and the exhibitors are Alper Derinboğaz, Metehan Özcan, Candaş Şişman, Ali Taptık and Serkan Taycan.

The Pavilion of Turkey is realised with the production support of Häfele and the contribution of Istanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association, under the auspices of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.

The sponsoring persons and institutions that have contributed in providing Turkey with a permanent venue in the Venice Biennale include Akbank, Mehveş-Dalınç Arıburnu, Berrak-Nezih Barut, Ali Raif Dinçkök, Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, Füsun-Faruk Eczacıbaşı, Oya-Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Enka Foundation, Nesrin Esirtgen, Eti Gıda San. ve Tic. AŞ, Ahu-Can Has, Öner Kocabeyoğlu, MAÇAKIZI, Tansa Mermerci Ekşioğlu, Polimeks Holding, SAHA, Taha Tatlıcı, T. Garanti Bankası AŞ, Vehbi Koç Foundation, Zafer Yıldırım, and Yıldız Holding AŞ.

For further information: and