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Turkey picks Sarkis for 2015 Venice Biennale

The Istanbul-born, Paris-based artist is the first to show work in the new pavilion

Sarkis and his installation "Gökkusak". Photo: the artist

The Istanbul-born, Paris-based artist Sarkis is to represent Turkey at the Venice Biennale in 2015. He will be the first artist to create an installation for the nation’s new pavilion in the Arsenale, after the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts inked a 20-year lease on the space earlier this year. Defne Ayas, the director and curator at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, has signed on to curate the presentation.

Sarkis, whose work incorporates light, sculpture, photography and painting, was included in Harold Szeemann’s historic exhibition “When Attitudes Become Form” at the Bern Kunsthalle in 1969, as well as the recent recreation, “When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013”, co-organised by the Italian curator Germano Celant, the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and the German artist Thomas Demand, at the Fandazione Prada in Venice in 2013.

This was already a banner year for Sarkis. In March, the Huis Marseille Museum voor Fotografie in Amsterdam concluded an exhibition of his “Ring Portraits”, a series of photographs of figurines from J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” saga. A solo exhibition of Sarkis’s work is also currently on show at the Musée du Château des Ducs de Wurtemberg (through 5 January).

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