Biennial Management

Course Code: 
ARTM 416
Course Type: 
Free Elective
Course Language: 
Course Objectives: 
The aim of this course is to give students a general overview on the process of biennial management; to enable them understand the nature of contemporary art organizations including the biennials; and to teach the basic steps of organizing a biennial.
Course Content: 

The course consists of two parts: biennial as content and as format. The first half of the semester covers the dynamics of  the contemporary art which the biennial makes a part of, with its global perspective.  The second part of the course is on learning the biennial organizing process with its actors and and related tasks.

Course Methodology: 
1: Lecture, 2: Question-Answer, 3: Discussion, 9: Simulation, 12: Case Study
Course Evaluation Methods: 
A: Testing, C: Homework

Vertical Tabs

Course Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes Program Learning Outcomes Teaching Methods Assessment Methods
1) They should learn about the actors and their duties and responsibilities within the biennial organization process. 1,2,5,9 1,2,3 A,C
2) They are expected to know about the intellectual and creative process, exhibition planning, finance and sponsorship issues concerning the organizational period. 6,11 1,2,3 A,C
3) They must be familiar with the concept of the biennial as a form and content of an art organization and also with its historical background and with various examples. 10,11 1,2,3 A,C
4) They are asked to compare and contrast the biennial exhibitons with traditional models. 8,11,12 1,2,3 A,C
5) They are expected to acknowledge the relation of the cultural industries which biennials make a part of, with the city and effects of globalization. 4,7 1,2,3 A,C


Course Flow

WEEK TOPICS Study Materials
1 Introduction and structure of the course  
2 What is an art biennial? What kind of exhibition? Examples around the World  
3 Historical background and its structural background (19th C. Industrialization, World Fairs, Initiation of the biennials and Venice)  
4 Global conditions and the biennial

Reflection of the globalization upon culture and cultural industries; and the biennial “boom” after1990

5 The development of the art world in Turkey before the International İstanbul Biennial. The art works, themes and spaces of the first eight International İstanbul Biennial.  
6 The art works, themes and spaces from 9.International İstanbul Biennial to nowadays.


7 Ciity, Culture and Economy: The rise of the cities from the cultural perspective; the bond of the city with the cultural products and their relationship to the biennial exhibitions

Biennials are tools of marketing: The place of the cultural events in city marketing

8 Summary  
9 Midterm Exam  
10 Introduction Week  
11 Field trip (Istanbul Biennial / Example of a contemporary art exhibition)  
12 Organizers  and the conceptual framework: Managerial staff, curator, theme ans concept and

Artists and the creative process: artwork selection, selection criteria and residency programme

13 Exhibition production ve management: Transportation, Space design and management, and exhibiton pedegogy and Support mechanisms of a Biennial: Sponsorship and Finance  
14 Team making, Media& PR activities, Side programme + Student presentations  


Recommended Sources

Additional Resources 1)         Madra, Beral, “İki Yılda Bir Sanat”, Norgunk Yayınları

2)         Yardımcı, Sibel, (2005) Küreselleşen İstanbul’da Bienal, İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları

3)         Adorno, T. (2009) Kültür Endüstrisi, Kültür Yönetimi, 5. Baskı İstanbul: İletişim

4)         Burcu AYAN ERGEN, “Uluslararası İstanbul Bienalleri ve Katılımcı Sanatçıların Profili” Yüksek Lisans Tezi, Marmara Üniversitesi

5)         Esche, C. ve Hlavajova, M. (Eds.) (2009) Open, The Art Biennial as a Global Phenomenon, No:16, NAi Publishers SKOR


Material Sharing

Assignments Students are given passages and research materials from the course materials on weekly basis. Accordingly they are expected to submit one page workworks.

Each student makes presentation of a world biennial of their choice to be graded as the homework note.

Exams Midterm, Presentation and Final



Mid-terms 1 45
Report 2 10
Total   100
Total   100



COURSE CATEGORY Expertise/Field Courses


Course’s Contribution to Program

No Program Learning Outcomes Contribution
1 2 3 4 5
1 To educate students as an Arts and Cultural Manager with an interdiciplinary outlook.         x
2 To gain expertise in Visiual and Performance Arts in detail.         x
3 To teach students the main actors in art and cultural sector.         x
4 To educate students in order to make them aware of the close relationship between artist, art work, critic and art collector.         x
5 To teach students basics of business administration in relation to the cultural sector.         x
6 To instruct students to evaluate the importance of team work and co-operation.         x
7 To give them essential knowledge about the work of cultural professionals (those who work for museums, art institutions, festivals, and so on) and possible pitfalls they can face.         x
8 To make students followers of international art.         X
9 To enable them to pinpoint the issues in their area of expertise and give them essential tools to solve problems.         x
10 To make them able to plan and put in practice their projects collectively.         x
11 To give students professional tools to evaluate all the facts in art and culture area.     x    
12 To teach them how to use PR and publicity tools in their job.         x
13 To teach students methodology, documentation and archiving.       x  
14 To make students aware of necessary level of legal knowledge in order to make contracts.   x      
15 To equip students with the basic knowledge of accounting.   x      



Activities Quantity Duration
Course Duration (Including the exam week: 16x Total course hours) 14 3 42
Hours for off-the-classroom study (Pre-study, practice) 14 3 42
Mid-terms 1 5 5
Report 2 4 8
Final examination 1 25 25
Total Work Load     122
Total Work Load / 25 (h)     4.88
ECTS Credit of the Course     5