One of our goals as a world class international school, is to provide and ensure that our students participate in a balance of academic, creative and physical activities within and beyond the classroom. Our Visual Art students enjoyed a day out on the town visiting the 15th Istanbul Biennial. The Istanbul Biennial is an opportunity to engage with contemporary art practice and curatorial concerns. Students considered the various perspectives and contexts that shaped the exhibition theme: “a good neighbour.” They also considered the purpose and function of contemporary art and contemporary museum spaces. They visited the Pera Museum and Galata Greek Primary School before ending the day on the Bosphorus at Istanbul Modern.

Some student reflections on the Biennial:

I found the field trip last week to be very valuable, as seeing works in person is totally different than looking at photos in books or on the internet, and changes the way the art is seen completely. On the internet and with books, it’s difficult to find new things, as the most popular art always rises to the top, but at a museum you get a chance to be exposed to artists you otherwise would not have heard of.

The exhibition’s theme of ‘A Good Neighbor’ was also very interesting, and seeing how all these pieces were put together loosely around this concept and comparing different approaches and ideas about the theme was very useful in understanding how artists can approach a subject in completely different ways.

I thought that the field trip last week to the Biennial was very useful to my work as an art student and very interesting. What interested me the most was the different interpretations of the prompt “a good neighbor” and how different themes such as identity, displacement, and segregation linked to this theme. I was also interested in the curatorial aspect of the exhibition and how various artists used space and set up to further convey their themes. 
Art students had a chance to visit Biennal, a theme of “A good neighbor”. By the field trip, I have learned more skills to express and the use of materials. In addition, we have seen how to exhibit, the most interesting structure was the museum-style of the exhibition. The artist has borrowed objects to display his artworks in the exhibition. I was very impressed how he wanted to create a museum structure to convey his theme. Other artworks had very interesting display-style and use of materials which I can demonstrate with my art pieces as well.
Nice weather, short ride, art student’s field trip to to Istanbul Biennale was a success this year.
We learned how the artists explore the theme of being a good neighbour not only as denoted meaning, but also as different perspective. It was great to see the artist’s unique and dynamic style and ways of installing exhibition. It was definitely different than the way how traditional artworks were displayed and from their unique idea, I got an inspiration how to view exhibition through new lenses and install my exhibition which is going to happen next year.
I really liked that the artist got the freedom of using the gallery spaces as they liked such as breaking the walls, cutting out a chunk of the wall, building a whole construction on the roof, splashing cement on the wall etc. Gozde Ilkins work gave me inspiration.