In contrast to the growth industry of “art fairs” where money rings up reputation, the raison d’être of art biennials is more or less to showcase the state of creativeness in that industry.

Taking in two over a week or so — the veritable Venice Biennale (as it is known, also the oldest in its 58th edition) and the dynamic Istanbul Biennial (the 16th) — gives a good idea of where the art world’s head is at right now (when it is not just about the money). ..

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