Anna Zizlsperger talks to Barbara Heinrich, curator of the exhibition Spaceliner at ARTER

From 2009-2013 you were project manager at TANAS, an art space founded by René Block as a platform for discourse between Turkish artists and curators and the german and international audience.can you tell us about your professional background, how you started working at TANAS, and how your interest in the Turkish art scene began?

I studied Art History, Archaeology, and Romance Languages and Literature in Frankfurt am Main, as well as Art Theory and Sociology at the University of Art in Kassel. From 1998-2006, I worked as a curator and assistant to the artistic director at Kunsthalle Fridericianum Kassel and collaborated in documenta 10 (1996) and documenta 11 (2002). Since 2007, I have been working as a freelance curator and project manager. My first encounter with art from Turkey actually took place in 1998 with the Echolot exhibition curated by René Block for Kunsthalle Fridericianum, which featured works by Gülsün Karamustafa and Ayşe Erkmen. These two artists fascinated me from the beginning, and I began to regularly visit the Istanbul Biennial exhibitions to learn more about the contemporary art scene in Turkey. Another important project was René’s 2003 show ‚In the Gorges of the Balkans’ at Kunsthalle Fridericianum, which included works by Hüseyin Alptekin, Halil Altındere, Fikret Atay, Cengiz Çekil, Extrastruggle, Ayşe Erkmen, Esra Ersen, Gülsün Karamustafa, Ali Kazma, Aydan Murtezaoğlu, Şener Özmen, Erkan Özgen, Ebru Özseçen, Bülent Şangar, Sarkis, Cengiz Tekin and Hale Tenger, amongst others. I then began to write catalogue texts and monographs about some of these artists and, luckily, was able to intensify cooperation with the Turkish art scene during my time at TANAS