Monday, June 11, 2007

Bosphorus Beat in Art + Auction Magazine

A survey article by Abigail R. Esman was published in the June 2007 issue of Art + Auction. The excerpt reads "With the Istanbul Biennale turning ten in September, there’s no better time to explore this surprisingly vibrant art scene, where collectors, museums and public art thrive despite social and political tensions." Following is the section that pertains to Platform Garanti. Listed also are the corrections to the text. "The Bosphorus Beat" Abigail R. Esman ... Opposite Yapi Kredi is Platform, the city's first alternative space. Platform was established in 2001 by Proje4L's founding director and co-curator of the 2005 biennial, Vasif Kortun, and is sponsored by the Garanti Bank. (For reasons involving competition, tradition, good business and goodwill, banks have become major supporters of the art institutions, including galleries, following the model set by Yapi Kredi's Kazim Taskent.) More a foundation then an exhibition space, Platform, according to an official statement, functions as "a meeting point for contemporary artists, curators and critics" through its encyclopedic archive of contemporary Turkish art, music and film . It also provides residencies for artists from Europe, the Balkans, Kazakhstan and the Middle East. "Our mission," says Kortun, who was the first director (1994-97) of the Museum of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in upstate New York, is "to being questions, not answers," to contemporary art. "That doesn't make us a safe place," he adds, noting that police removed a work by one resident recently, claiming that it ridiculed them. (There have been no religious protests against any of the art in Istanbul.) Corrections: "The Bosphorus Beat" "Platform contains an archive of work by more than 100 artists from Turkey, the most comprehensive library of art publications in the city." "...Our residency programme is currently supported by Dutch, Flemish, Swedish, Basque, Norwegian, Swiss, Greek, French, British 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 this year and as one of the partners of the newly established Backyard residency programme, a project under the SEE Mobility Project (Artists' Residences in South East Europe,), supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers we have invited four artists from the countries of South East who will spend time in on IRP between September 2006 and June 2007." from our website Further Amendments: Regarding the problem with the police, one case occurred during a street performance by the artist named Luk Sips. Sips had put himself behind bars in a make-shift cell on the Istiklal Street. The other case was Ahmet Öğüt's screening on Yama a new public art space hosted by a digital board that sits atop the Marmara Pera Hotel in Istanbul. The work was eventually removed by the organizer because of heavy pressure from the security officials.