The 18th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, in which Turkey participated with Ghost Stories, concluded this week. Under the theme “Ghost Stories: The Carrier Bag Theory of Architecture,” the Turkish Pavilion garnered widespread admiration, solidifying its position among the standout exhibits of the biennial. Ghost Stories was inspired by unused architectural structures in Turkey.
Closing on November 26, the 18th Venice Biennale’s International Architecture Exhibition welcomed nearly 300 thousand visitors, marking it as the second busiest edition in its storied history. This year, Turkey took part in the Architecture Exhibition, which is considered one of the most important architectural events of today, with its Ghost Stories: The Carrier Bag Theory of Architecture project.
Ghost Stories: The Carrier Bag Theory of Architecture
Curated by Sevince Bayrak and Oral Göktaş, Ghost Stories: The Carrier Bag Theory of Architecture draws inspiration from unused architectural structures in Turkey. The exhibition, housed at the Turkey Pavilion in Arsenale, one of the primary venues of the Biennial, showcased innovative perspectives on revitalizing abandoned buildings. The project embraced radical changes in architecture, incorporating cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and robots to propose hopeful solutions.
During the preparation phase, an open call to document ghost structures across Turkey resonated widely, amassing a collection of over 900 building photographs and videos. A curated selection from this archive featured prominently in the exhibition space and the accompanying project book. The collective archive also found a platform on the project’s Instagram account, engaging a broader audience.
Organised under the coordination of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the Pavilion of Turkey received international acclaim and was highlighted in a special supplement by the Financial Times dedicated to the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The journey of Ghost Stories will continue
After Venice, The Carrier Bag Theory of Architecture also received invitations from Austria, Japan, Switzerland and South Korea. In parallel with the project, which attracted great interest from visitors, the curators were invited to many different events around the world. The curators who attended the Swiss Architecture Museum Double Lectures held in Basel in October will make a presentation at the Monkchon Lecture Series to be organized by Seoul National University in April next year in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
Venice Architecture Biennale Turkey Pavilion
Turkey’s consistent participation in the Venice Architecture Biennale since 2014, in the venue which hired for 20 years in Arsenale, with the initiative of İKSV and the contributions of 21 contributors, has firmly established the presence in this prestigious event.
The project selection for the Pavilion of Turkey is a two-stage process overseen by the Selection Committee. Open calls for the 19th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2025 will commence in the summer of 2024.