The 3rd Mardin Biennial, organized by the Mardin Cinema Association, opened on May 17 at the idle Morephrem Monastery in the eastern province of Mardin. This year’s biennial theme is “Mythologies.”

During the biennial, 63 artists, 20 of whom are foreign, will display performances in churches, historic mansions and bazaars.

At the opening speech, Mardin Governor Ömer Faruk Koçak said that Mardin was home to various cultures and civilizations and had become the center of art events.

Director of the Mardin Biennial Döne Otyam said that the biennial started six years ago, adding, “The biennial will last one month. The artists have produced works suitable for the venues in Mardin. We have two main buildings: the Morephrem Monastery and the German Headquarters. There is also the Mardin Museum, Kırklar Church and Keldani Church. We have chosen these places without making any changes. We will display video art, installations and performances.”

The 3rd Mardin Biennial is curated by a collective constituted mostly of locals. Likewise, many of the artists are also locals, thus suggesting “an alternative approach by questioning the prevailing biennial procedure, where a single curator, who is unfamiliar with the context and setting, single-handedly decides who to exhibit, what to exhibit, and how to exhibit it,” explains the biennial’s website. The biennial will continue through June 15.