Founded in Berlin in 2014, the virtual gallery BIQ is now opening it’s physical headquarters for contemporary art showcasing projects that move between nations. What started as a simple transnational artists’ platform eventually developed into a virtual gallery with actual exhibitions which migrate through various galleries between Berlin and Istanbul, two cities with art scenes that are more connected than they might seem on the surface.
So far, BIQ has exhibited artworks conjunction with other local galleries, such as Mixer, who hosted the Berlin Istanbul Quartier as collaborating guests and partners. The aim now, a crucial natural progression, is to set up a concrete space for the collaborative institution, a forward-thinking headquarters in Istanbul that will foster the connection of open, hopeful, fruitful minds.
This headquarters-to-be considers itself as a creative space meant to host a multitude of projects, including temporary exhibitions, creative workshops, artists talks and symposia. The exhibitions will make the rounds between collaborating European galleries and return to the headquarters in Istanbul at the end of their journey. BIQ also hopes to encourage emerging talent by offering short term artist studios and storage for rent to migrating artists seeking inspiration on the move.
Throughout the one-year duration of the BIQ project, students of Intercultural Studies and Communication from the University of Cologne will study and engage with the versatile program in order to reflect on and find solutions for sustainability in the arts, the cultural sector and human sciences.
At the beginning of this year we had conversations with banks and foundations in Germany accompanied by business consultancies, who were highly interested in funding this special project. Most unfortunately, the current political situation in Turkey has inflicted big financial cuts in the cultural sector. However, instead of burning bridges, BIQ is reaching out, seeking the necessary help, and boldly choosing to support the transnational contemporary art scene of Istanbul, and will remain dedicated to seeing it flourish again by keeping innovation and exchange alive.
We strongly believe that being involved in culture and learning from each other is the only good fight there is.