Architect and curator Çağla Ilk, codirector of Germany’s Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, has been invited to curate the German pavilion at the Sixtieth Venice Biennale, to take place April 20–November 24, 2024. No artist has yet been commissioned for the pavilion, which is typically under intense scrutiny, having won the Biennale’s prestigious Golden Lion six times in the past.
The Istanbul–born Ilk has since 2020 shared charge of Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden with Misal Adnan Yildiz. From 2012, she served as dramaturge and curator at Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theater. Ilk studied architecture at the Technical University of Berlin and at Istanbul’s Sinan University. She is known for her curation encompassing visual arts, architecture, performance, and sound.
“At a time when wars, man-made natural disasters and authoritarianism are making our societies more and more vulnerable to crises, it is more important than ever to question our previous way of life, which was shaped by nation-state thinking, and to develop new forms of living together,” said Ilk in a statement. She noted that the German pavilion was an ideal venue for doing so, “because it stands for a critical examination of German history as well as for a long tradition of groundbreaking artistic works.”
Ilk was nominated for the position at the suggestion of a selection committee assembled by the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations and the higher-level Foreign Office. Among the committee’s members were Elena Agudio, director of the Villa Romana, Florence; Till Fellrath, codirector of the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Susanne Pfeffer, director of the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt; and Stephanie Rosenthal, director of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Projects.