Pavlović featured at 12th Istanbul Biennial

"Search for Landscapes, 2011," photographic installation (courtesy of Vesna Pavlović)

Vesna Pavlović, assistant professor of art at Vanderbilt, is featured in the 12th Istanbul Biennial, one of the most prestigious exhibitions of contemporary art in the world. Pavlović’s “Search for Landscapes, 2011” is on display through Nov. 13.

The International Istanbul Biennial, founded in 1987, is held every two years in Istanbul, Turkey. Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, the biennial aims to create a meeting point in Istanbul in the field of visual arts between artists from diverse cultures and the audience.

Five group exhibitions and more than 50 solo presentations – a total of more than 500 works – comprise the 12th biennial, Untitled, curated by Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann. “Untitled” refers to the work of Cuban American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957–1996), one of the most important artists of the contemporary era.

Vesna Pavlović (Steve Green/Vanderbilt)

The five group exhibitions are Untitled (Abstraction), Untitled (Ross), Untitled (Passport), Untitled (History), and Untitled (Death by Gun). Each departs from a specific work by Gonzalez-Torres. More than 50 solo presentations carry further the discussions broached by the group exhibitions.

Pavlović’s solo presentation, part of the Passport exhibition, utilizes a found archive of holiday travel slides from the 1960s.

“Slides were a popular mode of recording travel from the 1960s to the 1980s,” she said. “This coincided with a period of American freedom of mobility and travel to the world’s exotic locations. The technology itself was a product of the American consumer economy, and it came at a time of projection of American power.

“The American tourist with his or her camera is itself an iconic image. … I was also interested in slides as a ‘first level’ of representation: a direct positive, an object, and a source of surprise for friends and family back home.”

View images from “Search for Landscapes, 2011.” More images of the artist’s work can be seen on her website.