Art in Crisis

BY Rachel Corbett

It was a troubled backdrop against which the Berlin-based artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset had to curate the 15th Istanbul Biennial. Suicide bombings last January, March and June, followed by a massacre at the airport and, a few months later, at a nightclub have shaken the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul. Last summer the military’s failed attempt at a coup left hundreds dead and reinforced the conservative presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has since succeeded in passing a referendum that rewrote the country’s constitution to grant him sweeping new powers, including the authority to stay in office until 2029.

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