Onur Gökmen, still from All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is never full, 2017



Performance Programme
13—16 May 2017
Various locations, Istanbul, Turkey

13 May—10 June 2017
Abud Efendi Mansion, Istanbul, Turkey


Taking place in various locations across Istanbul, BAHAR [Spring] is the second of four Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj (SB13) off-site projects centred around the keywords ‘water’, ‘crops’, ‘earth’ and ‘culinary’. SB13 curator Christine Tohme has invited Zeynep Öz to be the interlocutor who researches and dialogues with the keyword ‘crops’. Öz has conceived and organised a programme of commissioned exhibitions and performances to be presented from 13 May to 10 June 2017, which coincide with Turkey’s Hıdırellez festival, a celebration of the arrival of spring and revival of nature.

Öz’s intervention follows the life cycle of seeds, exploring questions of dormancy and latency as well as states of pauses in our lives and sleep, and connects this cycle to a wider examination of the psychological, institutional and cultural. Seed dormancy – when seeds remain inert due to unsuitable germination conditions – is defined as arrested growth, a temporary halt, a state of rest and a period of waiting. A vital mechanism for enhancing the probability of survival, dormancy ensures the temporal (and spatial) dispersal of seeds as they wait for their turn to awake. Inspired by the crucial significance of timing in the processes of seed dormancy, BAHAR explores the suspension of activity and the different stages and implications of sleep. The question of whether seeds will remain dormant or people inactive, or whether a source of energy will spur growth or awaken the development process is critical.


Designed to elicit issues, ideas and discussions around the keyword ‘crops’ prior to the project launch in May, two preliminary weekend programme related to the planting of seeds took place at SALT Galata in Istanbul between 23 and 25 March and 5 and 7 April. Considering issues of latency, the programmes presented talks by Matthew Gumpert, Bella Habip, Aslı Niyazioğlu, Özgür Öğütcen and Işıl Baysan Serim together with a series of film screenings curated by Fol, Canan Balan (in collaboration with Silent Cinema Days) and Çiçek Kahraman & Övgü Gökçe.

The BAHAR exhibition (13 May—10 June, Abud Efendi Mansion, Sultanahmet) features commissioned works by artists Sena Başöz, Aslıhan Demirtaş, Merve Ertufan, Alev Ersan, Fatma Belkıs, Bengi Güldoğan, Pınar Öğrenci, Ali Taptık, Deniz Tortum and Ülgen Semerci & Burcu Yağcıoğlu alongside existing works by Bryony Dunne, Onur Gökmen, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, João Modé and Olivia Plender.

Also on view are special projects from Ayça İnce (Ek Biç Ye İç) & Begüm Atakan, the curatorial collective Das Art Project, torna (with folio) and artist collective Signs of Time. The opening week programme (13—16 May, various locations) will also include the launch of a book by Kerim Bayer and an interview with Zeki Alasya as well as a range of performances by Onur Karaoğlu*, biriken*, Doa Aly and A Corner in the World.

* Note each performance has a limited capacity. Register by May 10th, 2017 at info@baharadogru.com.

About Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj

Taking place from January 2016 to January 2018, Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj encompasses exhibitions, projects and educational programmes in five locations, expanding the biennial structure across space and time. Curated by Christine Tohme, tamawuj is an Arabic word that suggests the rising and falling of waves; a flowing, swelling, surging or fluctuation; or a wavy, undulating appearance, outline or form. Sharjah Biennial 13 (SB13) includes exhibitions and public programmes in two acts, one in Sharjah (10 March–12 June 2017) and one in Beirut (October 2017– January 2018), as well as SB13 School, a year-long education programme that spans the west, central and eastern regions of Sharjah.

Tamawuj also seeks to mobilise ongoing conversations. Four interlocutors in as many cities organise projects around keywords that are integral to SB13’s conceptual framework: Kader Attia investigates water in Dakar (8 January 2017), Zeynep Öz considers crops in Istanbul (13 May 2017), Lara Khaldi studies earth in Ramallah (10 August 2017) and Ashkal Alwan reflects on the culinary in Beirut (15 October 2017).

Sharjah Biennial is organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, which brings a broad range of contemporary art and cultural programmes to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region. Since 1993, Sharjah Biennial has commissioned, produced and presented large-scale public installations, performances and films, offering artists from the region and beyond an internationally recognised platform for exhibition and experimentation.

About Zeynep Öz

Zeynep Öz is an independent curator based in Turkey whose interests lie in the process of artistic production. Öz was curator for the Aichi Triennale, Japan (2016); Selling Snails in the Muslim Neighbourhood, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany (2013) and Plastic Veins, Home Works 6, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2013). She also co-founded SPOT Contemporary Art Projects, Istanbul in 2011 and is the curator of the SPOT Production Fund projects. She was also assistant curator for Home Works 5, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2010). She has developed curatorial and artistic projects at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, US; Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, US and Frankfurter Kunstverein, among others.

About Christine Tohme

Christine Tohme is the founding director of Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, a non-profit organisation established in 1993 to initiate and support contemporary artistic practice. In 2002, Tohme launched the multidisciplinary platform Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices, and in 2011, she started the free tuition Home Workspace Study Program. She is the recipient of the CCS Bard Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence (2015) and the Prince Claus Award (2006).

For more information, visit www.sharjahart.org
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Media contacts:

Sharjah Art Foundation: Alyazeyah Al Reyaysa: T +971 6 544 4113 / alyazeyah@sharjahart.org
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