5533 opened in February 2008, with its storefront window gallery, library, artist/curator/art initiative/new media/sound art and portfolio archives, as an independent space for research, discussion and exhibition of contemporary art. Talks, workshops, public roundtable discussions and readings take place in this former shop located in the Istanbul Textile Traders’ Market (IMC) Block No. 5. It creates a forum for an interactive review of artistic concepts and practices. In addition to analysing art’s theoretical context, video screenings, performances and exhibitions turn a former business environment into a “contact zone” where visitors from different backgrounds, professions and communities interact with IMC inhabitants to experience various artistic forms in a non-exclusive and non-elitist atmosphere. 5533 was founded by Nancy Atakan, Volkan Aslan and Marcus Graf.
The non-profit curatorial collective from Istanbul was founded by Naz Cuguoğlu and Mine Kaplangı in 2015, and joined by Serhat Cacekli in 2017. The collective mainly focuses on collaborative thinking and creating processes through its reading group meetings and cross-national collaborative exhibitions, and highlights the potential of transdisciplinary collaborations within contemporary art, process-based rather than outcome-based research with an experimental laboratory approach through their curatorial and editorial projects.
Gapo – photography initiative, run by Refik Akyüz and Serdar Darendeliler
Geniş Açı Project Office (GAPO) was founded at the beginning of 2007, based on the experience and expertise of Geniş Açı Photography Magazine, which was published between 1997 and 2006. GAPO is an organisational and curatorial team working in coordination with both national and international art institutions to organise exhibitions, workshops and educational programmes. They also publish books, provide advice for photographers, coordinate travelling exhibitions and parallel events, and give advanced level lectures in the field of photography.
Performistanbul is Turkey’s first international platform to bring performance artists together. Based in Istanbul, the platform works with international artists and institutions without a space of its own to promote performance art, reach more audiences to experience challenging and creative performance work, foster collaboration with different arts institutions worldwide and increase flexibility. They also act as a medium to connect art institutions and corporate firms with performance artists while creating site-specific performances. Founded in January 2016 by Simge Burhanoğlu, Performistanbul has presented more than 30 performances and introduced a number of national and international artists to premiere new works in collaboration with leading arts institutions. As of 2018, the platform has gone into a new phase of expanding its existing role and is laying the foundations of Performistanbul Live Art Research Space, which will focus on archiving, documenting and exhibiting performance art while providing space and resource for conducting research.
Pist is a non-profit, independent, artist-run project in Istanbul. Co-directed by Didem Özbek and Osman Bozkurt, the main focus of Pist is to support the local contemporary art scene while sustaining its continuing growth. From 2006-2014, Pist hosted various exhibitions, discussions and projects, as well as produced its own publications, but is currently not active in a physical space.
Founded in 2011 by Mari Spirito, Protocinema is a non-profit art organisation that makes transnational, nomadic exhibitions in Istanbul, Paris and New York, with a Hands-on Education Programme. Site-Aware Exhibitions are presented in temporary and/or disused spaces, specific to each artist. Protocinema creates opportunities for emerging and established artists from all regions to realise new work and exhibit existing work in a variety of contexts that are open to the public, and accessible to a wide range of individuals. The name Protocinema refers to Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010), a 3D documentary film by Werner Herzog.
Reccollective is a collective of artists who work in the area of photography and film. The collective came together out of the need for a platform for creating, discussing and sharing work. While each photographer has their own unique expression, the understanding and the questions that affect contemporary photography bring them together and creates a synergy that deepens their practice.
Videoist (Istanbul based Mobile Video Event)
Videoist was founded in 2003 by Hülya Özdemir and Ferhat Satıcı. This independent initiative works with video art. The “Videoist” word is a combination of the words “video” (the origin of this word is “videre” in Latin language which means I see) and the word “ist”, which is the abbreviation of Istanbul. In this sense, it aims to be a platform for different art activities, as well as video projects. The artist collective has regularly hosted exhibitions, demonstrations, presentations and educational projects and is present in various independent and non-profit art platforms. In 2014, Videoist attained its first permanent space in Mardin.