Istanbul-Based Arts Centre Opens Doors After Two-Year Hiatus

BY Katrina Kufer / Apr 25 2018 / 14:15 PM

Contemporary arts centre SALT Beyoğlu reopened on 17 April following two years of closure with fresh changes to its space and a new exhibition entitled Continuity Error

Istanbul-Based Arts Centre Opens Doors After Two-Year Hiatus
Courtesy of SALT Beyoglu, Istanbul
Aydan Murtezaoğlu. HIP ACTIVIST - Live from the series HIP ACTIVITIES - Escorts. 2003-4. From the exhibition Continuity Error.

The contemporary art centre has reopened its doors following a halt of its core programming in 2015 and full closure in January 2016 for unspecified technical reasons. Though its main outlet was shuttered, SALT continued programming through satellite venues in Istanbul and Ankara such as SALT Galata and the recently-closed SALT Ulus. It has reinagurated its space with a major survey show of works by seminal Turkish artists from the 1990s Aydan Murtezaoğlu and Bülent Şangar entitled Continuity Error (running until 22 July).

Regarding the unexpected closure, former director Vasif Kortun, who stepped down in January 2017, rebuked ensuing speculation that the Turkish space had faced governmental pressure over its curatorial remit. This speculation was also debunked by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which purports that the office of the Turkish Prime Minister received a complaint that questioned whether the centre had permits from Istanbul’s building authority to complete the renovation of its 19-century building.

During the two-year hiatus, several updates within the four-storey space occurred, including former associate director Meriç Öner being named the new head director of research and programmes; a revamped forum; shifting the bookstore to the ground floor; and the addition of a work space and interior garden.