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4th Mardin Biennial

Beyond Words

The 4th edition of the Mardin Biennial entitled “Beyond Words” takes place in Mardin, Turkey, from 4 May to 4 June 2018. SAHA provided support for the production of works of the artists participating in the Biennial.

The 4th edition of the Mardin Biennial, entitled “Beyond Words” is curated by Fırat Arapoğlu, Nazlı Gürlek and Derya Yücel under the subheadings of “Infinite Sight”, “Body Language”, and “Boundaries and Thresholds”. Historical narrations and the act of seeing, the phenomenon of looking that constitutes the foundations of cultural/artistic systems, sets out from the conflicting view that although it is limited, the view point of humans cannot be confined to limits. The curators set out from a point seeking ways for complementing the ‘missing’ with different points of appraisal that could lead to new perspectives. On the other hand, the proposal to engage with various methods of bodily expression aims to open up new channels of creativity where the healing, unifying, and empowering forces of creation can flow. The focus passes from sight to the body so as to go beyond the political, cultural, scientific, and social dynamics, toward where lies a reality that is “one” for everybody. Then space becomes the point where all possible thoughts converge, so much so that, for quite some time now, it confronts them and will continue to do so beyond all physical and mental spaces, of boundaries and thresholds of every individual and social practice.   

“Beyond Words” brings together various forms of artistic expression created through the languages of sight, the body and space-making that the artists make visible and raise awareness about. The audience is invited to experience how expression turns into art in places that lie beyond words.


Albena Baeva, Ali Emir Tapan, Ana Mendieta, Aslı Bostancı, Aydın Teker, Bilge Alkor, CANAN, Cengiz Tekin, Ceren Oran&Burcu Yılmaz, Chaw Ei Thein, Chris Burden, Çağrı Saray, Didem Erbaş, Eda Aslan, Emre Zeytinoğlu, Fırat Bingöl, Gizem Aksu, Guy Ben-Ner, Hasan Pehlevan, Huo Rf, İhsan Oturmak, İnsel İnal, İpek Duben, Janis Rafa, John Gerrard, Julian Stallabrass, Ken Friedman, Lewis Hine, Leyla Postalcıoğlu, Iliko Zautashvili, Magali Duzant, Mahmut Celayir, Maria Papadimitrou, MERKEZKAÇ, Metin Çelik, Mustafa Avcı, Mürsel Argunağa, Nasan Tur, Özlem Altın, Parastou Forouhar, PELESİYER, Ramize Erer, Romina Meriç, Sara Kostic, Senem Gökçe Oğultekin, Serkan Taycan, Seyhun Topuz, Simon Faithfull, Taner Ceylan, Youssef Nabil.

About the Mardin Biennial

The Mardin Bienial aims to bring contemporary art from Turkey’s west to its east; to enliven Mardin’s already enriched geography furthermore with artists, academicians, students and diverse communities; to create a new platform of dialogue; to add new dimension to the notion of the “center” and to place Mardin in a unique position through series of exhibitions.

The 1st Mardin Biennial was organized between 4 June–5 July, 2010 with the intention of transforming Mardin into a center of contemporary art. The Biennial was curated by Döne Otyam and took place in locations that are embedded within Mardin’s unique historical architecture and surrounded by as well as embedded in the daily life of the local people. Mardin as a city full of historical, cultural and geographical richness presented a different and enriching experience for contemporary artists. The 2nd Biennial took place between 21 September–21 October, 2012 curated by Paolo Colombo and Lora Sarıaslan and was organized by the Ministry of Development Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration, Mardin Governorship, Promotion Fund of the Prime Ministry, Mardin Municipality and with the support of the private sector. The 3rd Biennial was organized by Mardin Cinema Association and took place between 15 May–15 June 2015.