AMO, the creative think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), is to exhibit The Gulf in Istanbul on the occasion of the International Biennial which takes place from 4 September to 4 November 2007. The Gulf exhibition researched, curated and produced by AMO, represents in many ways the climax of the extensive analysis carried out by the think tank in the Gulf region. The work reveals an abounding form of urbanism, soon to redefine cities beyond this region's own borders.
In the last twenty years the Arabian coast along the Gulf has undergone incomparable urbanization at breakneck speeds. Participating in the Istanbul Biennial's attempt to show the linkage between art and urban life, this exhibition discusses the effects of these changes - exploring both the cultural and architectural implications of such rapid growth.
Focusing on seven territories in the Middle East, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah, The Gulf exhibition reveals a comprehensive overview of the emerging climate in this part of the world.
Topics such as exported urbanism and education diplomacy are explored, accompanied by facts and figures relating to population growth, oil depletion and the rise of an expat nation. Offering great insight into the incredible building boom in this area, The Gulf assesses the consequent effects of this construction hype on the value of architecture and the acceleration of urbanization in developing countries.
Entitled 'Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary Optimism in the age of global war', the 10th International Biennial in Istanbul is to focus on urban issues and architectural reality in the present day. The Gulf exhibition will form part of a larger series entitled 'Entre-polis', located in Antrepo no. 3, Tophane. A Micro-city is to be constructed made up of a series of labyrinth-like streets containing a variety of exhibitions exploring the themes of migration, global trade and urban life.
AMO's research into the Gulf has now been updated and revised following its first appearance at the Venice Biennale in 2006. The exhibition has been specially expanded to include further research carried out for Al Manakh, the book co-produced by AMO and Archis on this subject earlier this year - allowing the public a renewed chance to view The Gulf.
Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and curated by Hou Hanru, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at San Francisco Art Institute, the 10th International Istanbul Biennial will open on 8 September with special previews for press on 4 and 6 September.