Yuko Hasegawa


7th International Istanbul Biennial


Venue : 7th International Istanbul Biennial



Organization : Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, İstanbul Kültür Sanat Vakfı (Istanbul, Turkey)

Artists :
Tomma Abts ,Francis Alÿs ,Cem Arik ,Maja Bajevic ,Evgen Bavcar ,Simone Berti ,Rachel Berwick ,Mathieu Briand ,Frédéric Bruly Bouabré ,Chris Burden ,CAMBALACHE COLLECTIVE,Hussein Chalayan ,Lygia Clark ,Chris Cunningham ,Stan Douglas ,Du Weng-Sig ,Leandro Erlich ,Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset ,EXONEMO ,Jan Fabre ,Yang Fudong ,Anya Gallacio ,Alberto Garutti ,Leyla Gediz ,Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster ,Isa Genzken,Rodney Graham ,Kazuhiko Hachiya ,Natascha Sadr Haghighian ,Lu Hao ,Joyce Hinterding ,Pierre Huyghe ,Kim Young Jin ,On Kawara ,Omer Ali Kazma ,Guillermo Kuitca ,Ernesto Leal ,Henrietta Lehtonen ,Michael Lin ,Ma Liuming ,Rafael Lozano-Hemmer ,Fabian Marcaccio ,Okisato Nagata ,Carsten Nicolai ,David Noonan & Simon Trevaks ,Motohiko Odani ,Gabriel Orozco ,Kemal Onsoy ,Philippe Parreno ,Fernando Romero ,SANAA ,Yutaka Sone ,Fuat Sahinler & Murat Sahinler & Ahmet Soysal ,Mukadder Simsek ,Mika Taanila & Matti Suuronen ,Ana Maria Tavares ,Rirkrit Tiravanija ,James Turrell ,Magnus Wallin ,Joe Apichatpong Weerasethakul ,Jane and Louise Wilson ,Sislej Xhafa s

Istanbul is positioned halfway between Europe and Asia, bordering the Bosporus Strait which links the Black Sea and the Aegean. Once known as Constantinople, it was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. Later, the city was divided by the Western allied nations, after which Kemal Attaturk carried out a series of reforms to modernize the country in the 1920's. Japan's victory in the Russo-Japanese war was an inspiration for the reforms of the time as well as a catalyst for Turkey's sympathetic view of Japan which continues to this day.
Geographically speaking, the nations of Japan and Turkey are opposites-situated on the Eastern and Western edges of the region known as Asia. Both established democracy at an early stage for Asian countries, and they share the experience of ongoing efforts towards Westernization.
Turkey prioritizes the preservation and exhibition of old and historical works of art, and public funding of contemporary and modern art is extremely limited. As a result, funding is largely dependant on private companies or wealthy individuals, and Istanbul still does not have a contemporary or modern public art gallery. A Kunsthalle-style modern art gallery will be completed this year to coincide with the Biennale, but this, too, is privately funded. This year's Istanbul Biennale, which is the seventh of its kind, is being organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. It has built up a reputation for its community-minded aim of introducing the newest forms of expression in international modern art to large numbers of students and to those involved in art, as well as for the unique themes that have been established at each Biennale under a system of independent directorship, which was first introduced for the third Biennale.
These directors were selected from Europe for the past three Biennales, and I am the first director from what they call "the other side," My job started with the task of coming up with an effective message for this exhibition, which marks the first Biennale of the 21st century, and a single viewpoint that expresses both the current situation and emerging artistic forms without succumbing to the culturally confrontational concept of "East and West," which has become cliche. I started by discarding all existing words and phrases. This place is situated right in the middle. Geographically, it lies in the cultural sphere of Islam, but it maintains a deep relationship with Europe that dates back to the Roman Empire, and it's culture is also intertwined with that of Central Asia. Many different races and religions coexist here, the result of a complex blending of history. It lies in the depths of chaos-an "in between" place liberated from existing contexts.
These images share common models where one has a sense of separation from his/ her own body and sees the space where the body stands from a distance.
Why is this type of model being explored? Egofugality is an evolutional proposal. The subtitle, Toward the Next Emergence, suggests this very idea. Humans have a highly developed brain, or consciousness, which is an integrated form of information. Cerebral evolution has reached its limit: elf-organized criticality. I belong to whom is ever able to fill me with anykind of imaginary material. Anywhere out of the world. I am an imaginary character. I am no ghost, just a shell. Phillipe Parreno, Anywhere out of the world.

"Ego fugal" is a term that has spontaneously generated from incidents occurring in various genres. "Ego" in egofugal is a self in the philosophical sense, the very center of oneself. In this case, it implies Descartian ego, which goes back to the origin of a long succession of various philosophical subjects.
"Fugal" is a Latin word which means to diffuse away from the center. It is the opposite from petal, which indicates to go toward the center. Fugal is also the English adjective for fugue, a style of music, which comes from the Latin, fugere, "to escape." In a fugue, the first main chorus is followed by the second, and repeatedly pursued by its counterparts. The elegant and rhythmic relations of question and answer ever-so-lightly escaping from one another, create an odd and delicately balanced combination of the exceptionally strong, profound word as ego and weightless term as fugue.

How does one exist diffusing away from ego? It is different from Buddhist selflessness, religious devotion, self-sacrifice, or Asian mass mentality.
It is a term that suggests a completely new relation between individuals and collective entity. While maintaining diversity of individuals, egofugality upholds a positive and intelligent attitude to continuously share a magnetic field with others, aiming to form a macro-order. This is a story of a metaphysical space shared by producers living in consciousness, information, body, intelligence, time, and speed, instead of space.

(Excerpt from the catalog "Next Emergence from the Edge of Chaos: Istanbul ↔ Tokyo" Yuko Hasegawa)