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Curatorial practice


The concept of curation was not sufficiently understood in Turkey until the first Istanbul Biennial was organized in 1987. The first Istanbul Biennial has provided access to the curatorial concept and practice, and promoted this concept, together with many other innovations, to the Turkish art market. One of the important people in this field is Beral Madra, who was the curator of the first two Biennals. Vasıf Kortun, who was the curator of the 3rd Biennial, is another person who has contributed to establishing contemporary curatorial practices in the Turkish art market, and to the development of the concept in Turkey. Curatorial practice is a mechanism that mostly engages in sculpture, installation, painting, video and contemporary art. Photography exhibitions, however, are usually arranged on an individual level and without curators. Especially in the 2000s, curatorial practices developed rapidly and were embraced by the booming art market. Information about the most significant curators working on this field is given in other sections [crosslink with]. There are also important foreign curators who have arranged exhibitions in Turkey. Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann were the curators of the 12th International Istanbul Biennial. Some curators such as René Block, Rosa Martinez, Paolo Colombo, Dan Cameron, Charles Esche and Hou Hanru have also been curators in previous Istanbul Biennials. Rosa Martinez has also been the chief curator of Istanbul Modern for some time. René Block has been the curator of many exhibitions. Of these exhibitions especially the Sarkis’ “Bir Ikona” (An Icon) exhibition held from 3 September - 20 October was noteworthy. Fulya Erdemci, who has been the director of the SKOR foundation in the Netherlands since 2008, is another person who carried out her curatorial practice in both Turkey and the Netherlands. In 2002 Fulya Erdemci organized the “Istanbul Pedestrian Exhibition 1”, and co-organized the 2005 “Istanbul Pedestrian Exhibition 2”. Dutch curator Krist Gruijthuijsen organized activities in Turkey in collaboration with Garanti Platform.