Located in the most vibrant area of Istanbul, Platform acts as a dynamic catalyst for the dissemination, research and practice of contemporary art in the city, and also provides a meeting point for exchange between contemporary artists, curators and critics. In addition, the center has become a cultural portal for the region; through our residency programme and other initiatives we work with countries where the structure for a contemporary art scene is forming, but where there are few arts institutions or funding structures to provide further support at this time.
Platform contains an archive of work by more than 140 artists from Turkey, the most comprehensive library of art publications in the city, the Istanbul Residency Program, and an exhibition space committed to exhibiting contemporary art from Turkey and abroad. Since the centre's inauguration in late 2001 over 600,000 visitors have passed through our doors and we have organised 43 exhibitions, over 120 lectures, 4 major international conferences, and co-published 3 internationally distributed publications.
Our residency programme is currently supported by Dutch, Flemish, Swedish, Basque, Norwegian, Swiss, Greek, French, and Finnish national and regional funding bodies. With the support of a special three-year grant donated by the American Center Foundation, we were able to invite three artists from South East Europe, the South East Mediterranean and West Asia between 2004-2006. A grant from the Open Society Institute now offers artists from the Caucasus region the opportunity to spend two months in Istanbul. Also, through the Backyard Residency programme, a project under the SEE Mobility Project (Artists' Residences in South East Europe), supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers we invited four artists from the countries of South East Europe between September 2006 and June 2007.
In December 2003, Platform was selected as one of the ten most interesting not-for-profit institutions to participate in Institution2, curated by Jens Hoffmann for KIASMA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, and in 2004 Platform was awarded the 50th Year Grant by the European Cultural Foundation for its contribution to local and regional culture. In 2004 and 2005 Platform acted as the key base for the development of the 9th International Istanbul Biennial and hosted six artists on its residency programme who went on to participate in the Biennial exhibition. In October 2006 Platform participated as one of two invited not-for-profit organizations with 'collecting point' in Frieze Projects at the Frieze Art Fair. Platform is one of the 15 international partners for the Seventh International Biennial exhibition of SITE Santa Fe, NM scheduled to run from June 22 through October 26, 2008.
The institution will enter a new relationship with its constituencies in late 2008 after expansion and renovation is completed. Platform will operate from temporary spaces from October 2007 on, and phase out its local activities during this time.