Playing Host to Istanbul's 16th Biennial: A Highlight from the Pera Museum

The seemingly unexpected trajectory of storytelling—an amalgamation of time, space, and events—poignantly unveils itself through the 2005 Turner Prize winner, British artist Simon Starling’s Infestation Piece (Musselled Moore). The methodical narration, that metaphorically links Anthropocene, cultural exchange, and historical narrations, is woven through his four works exhibited at the Pera Museum for Istanbul’s 16th Biennale, The Seventh Continent.


Simon Starling, Infestation Piece (Musselled Moore), 2006-08. Courtesy of the artist. (Image: Raphael Goldstein, 2008)


The Infestation Piece (Musselled Moore) revolves around the influence of the Courtauld’s notorious director and Soviet spy Anthony Blunt, as a British art historian on the career of Henry Moore. While Blunt acted as a counsel for British art at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario), he recommended the purchase of Henry Moore’s Seated Warrior (later named Warrior with Shield). The acquisition of Moore’s sculpture heightened the global presence of the museum’s collection; the gallery’s relationship with the artist would eventually result in Moore's donation of an extensive representative body of his work. Blunt’s actio