OUR WORLD: November Art Picks

From Vienna to Berlin and Istanbul – November offers the perfect chance for culturally inspired trips to countries close by. Our Team has compiled the top picks of ongoing exhibitions and happenings worth visiting with a focus on art from Eastern Europe.

In her exhibition  Nane Oda Lavutaris / Who will play for me?, Emília Rigová, born in Slovakia, explores the history and the present-day experiences of the Roma. Rigová’s recent work is mainly deals with the topic of internal and external construction of Romani identity and the appropriation of the Romani body in the long history of European culture. By using and deconstructing stereotypical representations used by the majority society, she pushes the viewer to re-evaluate their own narratives on social stereotypes of minorites. In the current installation with pianos she refers to the musical heritage of the Roma and the tensions between self-image and external perception that this music embodies.

This autumn, the Istanbul Biennal that was postponed from 2021 is finally taking place. The picturesque city at the Bosphorus, known as one of the oldest inhabited city of the world and a melting pot of traditional and modern worlds, is for sure an exciting location for this two-month long city-wide art festival, that exists for over 35 years already and is organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.  This year’s curators Ute Meta Bauer, Amar Kanwar, and David The have centered the city-wide art festival around the “sense of our times” by contemplating present-day life and the richly layered past. 13 locations all over the city, including SAHA Studio, a 130-year-old power plant recently converted into a museum, and Müze Gazhan, an art space founded by Syrian artists, take place. If you have been looking for a good reason for a trip to sunny Turkey: here you are!

After its success at viennacontemporary 2023, the Kiyv-based gallery The Naked Room, also an institutional-producer of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia, presents a group exhibition with works by artists from The Naked Room’s program in the premises of Berlin based gallery NOME. For this show, Lizaveta German and Maria Lanko, curators and founders of The Naked Room, have chosen a work by Nikita Kadan, drawings by Katya Libkind, as well as works by Sasha Kurmaz, Kristina Melnyk, Kateryna Lysovenko, and Alexander Chekmenev.

Curated as well by Lizaveta German und Maria Lanko of The Naked Room Kyiv, Kunstforum shows an extensive group exhibition of young Ukrainian positions. Featuring works by Lucy Ivanova, Zhanna Kadyrova, Elena Subach, and Anna Zvyagintseva, the exhibition reflects and discusses the results and possible consequences of the Russian war in Ukraine on the Ukrainian and European art scene and society. Contemporary and important, make sure not to miss it!

East mees West: Turkish-born artist Ceylan Öztrük and US-based visual artist Amina Ross have joined forces in this two-person conceptual exhibition whose title draws on the Ph.D. thesis “Wet Rest: Excess as Liquid Praxis in Art and Curating” by Lucy A. Sames, December 2021.

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