“Other” Worlds of the Art World
Third World biennials have not yet fulfilled their utopian mission to decentralize the art world but they have developed new alliances, exchanges, and infrastructures that allowed the local avant-garde art practices to assume a critical stance to the totalizing mechanisms of the new transnational institutions of contemporary art. Numerous art worlds that proliferate around the globe are embedded in multiple globalisms that coexist with the dominant system of art production, exhibition, and circulation. The peripheral movements of art demand for a radical and true extension of the “democratization” of the international art world. In my article I focus on the local reception of the latest Istanbul Biennials as my case study and demonstrate that while the transnational biennial institution raises private profits instead of creating public consent, the event itself has the potential to generate an unprecedented level of energy, activism and creativity in the local level. In Istanbul, various avant-garde art practices have been emerging in spaces simultaneously connected and disconnected to the transnational art world institutions. These practices challenge the standardization of the biennial phenomenon and call for a dissident alliance with the avant-garde art in the Balkans, South Caucasus, and Middle East where new forms of cultural interactions with local societies and the art world has been taking place.
Keywords: Globalisation and Art, Biennalisation, Art World System, International Biennials, Contemporary Avant-Garde Art
Phd Candidate, Art and Art History, University of New Mexico