Burçak Bingöl, "The Follower" (2017) (produced with the support of Zilberman Gallery and SAHA, Supporting Contemporary Art From Turkey, photo by Sahir Ugur Eren courtesy the artist).
In the months leading up to the 15th edition of the Istanbul Biennial, posters — hung in windows alongside 'For Rent' signs and pasted next to broadsides advertising concerts began asking the city's residents some very personal questions:
Is a good neighbor someone you rarely see? Is a good neighbor richer or poorer than you? Is a good neighbor willing to babysit your 5-year-old?
Part introspective canvassing, part marketing campaign, 40 individual questions galvanized Elmgreen & Dragset's theme for the 2017 edition: What makes a good neighbor? The Scandinavian artist duo (the Biennial's first artist-curators) decided to approach this edition with broad notions of community and its many trappings: neighbors, borders, politics — even how we formulate our own homes. 55 artists were selected to exhibit across six venues (which, unlike the Biennial's last edition, are each within neighborly walking distance), responding however they saw fit.