The Pavilion of Turkey at the 2016 Venice Biennale will feature an exhibition titled Darzanà: Two Arsenals, One Vessel, which links the cultural heritage between the language and architecture of dockyards in Istanbul and Venice. Curated by a team of Turkish architects, the display will present “a last vessel," that has been built using waste materials found at the Haliç dockyards in Istanbul, and transported to the Biennale.
While Venice and Istanbul have two vastly different cultures, at one point in history, their culture and commerce were deeply seeded in dockyards, which produced and launched ships. The term Darzanà is a hybrid word that roots itself in Mediterranean languages, which were historically used as a means of communication between sailors and merchants. For the purpose of this exhibition, these languages have been interpreted to define a common architectural language.
The vessel on display, dubbed "baştarda" (another hybrid word), "is a cross between a galley and a galleon and is propelled by oars and sails." The baştarda symbolizes “the hybridity specific to the Mediterranean.” It will represent a ship that was left to rot in Istanbul but has set sail for Venice for a new life “all the while looking for clues to transform fronts and borders into thresholds and spaces of consensus.” Since architects often face ideas about confrontation and the breaking of borders, this exhibition will transform this space of conflict into a space of consensus through architecture and the metaphor of the baştarda.
Learn more about the exhibition, here.