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Artists and the Selection Committee

SAHA Studio Artists August 2019- February 2020:

Anna Larissa Araz (1990, Istanbul) whose practice focuses on the medium of photography; produces works in a variety of media including text, video and sound. Through a personal viewpoint, she focuses on the topics of history, identity, memory and belonging that are included or not included in social memory. The questions that are not answered by history that we repeatedly ask ourselves-or not anymore- are the main threads of an existential research of the artist. She started her BA in NYU, Steinhardt Media, Communication and Culture at 2010, and continued in Koç University, Media and Visual Arts, Sociology in 2014. Araz co-founded Poşe Open Space with photographer and film producer Öykü Canlı in April 2018.Poşe is conceived with an urge to establish a community. It is a physical and mental open-space for those who feel the need for dialogue and critique. They have displayed 16 exhibitions including solo and group productions along with public programing and video content. Recent attendance to workshops and residencies include “Articulating Research”, Ben Eastham, Aslı Seven, Merve Ünsal, SALT (2018); “Resource Utopia”, Andreas Rost, Michael Biedowicz, Volkan Kızıltunç, Goethe-Institut İstanbul, NOKS Art Space (2018); La Maison de Barbara Artist Residency (2017); Tony Chakar and Marwa Arsanios “In Seeking Incuriously” Workshop, Salzburg Summer Art Academy (2017). Exhibitions which Araz has attended include “Talk: The Soil I Thread”, Galata Greek School, Istanbul, Turkey (2019); “Chance For a Miracle”, Poşe Art Space, Istanbul, Turkey (2018); “Large Meadow”, Ariel Sanat, Istanbul, Turkey (2018); “Unerlöst”, Corpus G Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2018), “Survival Kit”, Cultural Transit Foundation, Yekaterinburg, Russia (2017) and Space Debris, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); “30 under 30 Women Photographers”, Popping Club, Rome, Italy (2017); Printed, Mixer Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); “Young, Fresh, Different 7”, Gallery Zilberman, Istanbul, Turkey (2016)1; “We are not dead yet!”, Mamut Art, Küçük Çiftlik Park, Istanbul, Turkey (2016); “Second Eye Women Photographers from Turkey”, Sismanoglou Megaro, Istanbul, Turkey (2013).

Alper Aydın (1989, Ordu) researches the idiosyncratic flows of nature and the physical conditions of the environment he lives in—using a wide range of methodologies from the natural sciences, mythology, symbolism, architecture, design, and art—and creates temporary arrangements in the medium of terrain intervention, photography, sculpture, and installation. He leaves temporary marks by observing in nature, and then collecting items or transforming his location by adding new forms to it. By making use of the metaphors of universal forms, he performs symbolic interventions. Taking an interest in the Earth is a determining principle of his artistic practice, and he treats nature both as a material and as a space in which his own location is the center. The site specific, monumental forms he produces can be read as representations of a yearning to return to nature. They draw attention to how a contemporary human, estranged from nature, perceives and experiences the environment. In May, 2019 he completed his doctoral degree in Sculpture Department at Hacettepe University, with his thesis entitled “Performance as a Dialogue between Body and Nature”. Aydın’s recent exhibitions include “A Good Neighbor”, 15th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); “Ways Out From the World” Cappadox Contemporary Art Exhibitions, Cappadocia, Turkey (2017); “Those Who We Don’t Speak Of” pelesiyer&darağaç, Hayy Open Space, Izmir, Turkey (2019). In 2008, Aydın attended the three month period of artists residency program Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. The artist pursues his practice alongside with Pelesiyer, an art project which he has taken part in its founding in 2012 in Ankara.

Özgür Demirci (1982, Konya) executes the construct of individual and social events which centralize the notion of memory through various practices of artistic production. Demirci obtained his BA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Yildiz Technical University in 2008, and his MA in C:Art:Media at Valand School of Fine Arts in 2010. He continues his Proficiency in Art at Dokuz Eylül University Art and Design Department. A member of Izmir Cultural Platform Initiative (İKPG) and content editor of the initiative’s incorporated Pla+form magazine, Demirci he pursues his practices in Izmir. Demirci has held many solo exhibitions and participated in various group exhibitions and public projects in Turkey, Sweden, Japan, Italy, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Albania and the USA. He has been involved in international residencies including The Institute of Criminology in Ljubljana, Slovenia; Residency Unlimited in New York, USA; Künstlerhaus Dortmund in Dortmund, Germany; Arcus Project in Moriya-Ibraraki, Japan; Unidee in Residence in Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy; and at Borusan Art Center in Istanbul, Turkey. Demirci received several grants and prizes for his projects from ArteEast, Goethe Institut, European Cultural Foundation, Turkish Cultural Foundation, OdeaBank O’art, Anna Lindh Foundation, Uni Credit Grant and Otto Och Charlotte Mannheimers Fond. Demirci’s recent exhibitions include Borderless Art Book Days, Istanbul, Turkey (2019); “Pandora’s Black Box” Group Show, Galata Greek School, Istanbul, Turkey (2019); “F: Photocopy Publication Project” and “Authors of the City” Hayy Open Space, Izmir, Turkey (2019); “Living and Producing in Izmir: Authors of the City” Studio X Istanbul, Turkey (2018); “A Future of Travel-The Journey of Artwork” Noks Art Space, Istanbul , Turkey (2018); Trumbauer Family Collection” (with Suat Öğüt) Kasa Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); “Dedicated” Öktem&Aykut Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); “We came, but you weren’t there” Pasaj Galata, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); “Money Issue” (with Elmas Deniz) curated by Nicoletta Daldanise, PasajIST, Istanbul, Turkey (2012).

Sibel Horada (1980, Istanbul) focuses on collective and personal histories with an interest in urban, archaeological and ecological cultures. She investigates the memories of erasure with stories that weave together strange, coincidental details. For Horada, memory is not only the act of recollection, but also a process of reproduction and transformation. Using text and forms, she materializes her encounters in poetic sculptures and installations. After completing her BA in Visual Arts Department in Brown University, USA in 2003, she pursued her MA in Faculty of Art and Design in Yıdız Technical University. Her first solo exhibition, “Fire Chronicles” opened in 2012 at Daire Gallery. Her second one “a Fall”, followed the next year at the same gallery.  “Zwei Positionen: Sibel Horada und Buket Savcı” opened as two simultaneous solos at Kunstverein Ludwigsburg in 2018. Later that year, “An Internal Garden” took place at Depo, Istanbul.  In 2017 “Floating Tactics After a Sunken Island” at Daire Gallery was her first curatorial experience. Horada’s recent group exhibitions include “Anarchitecture”, Ariel Sanat, 2017; “Port Izmir 3 -International Triennial of Contemporary Art”, İzmir, 2014; “Signs Taken in Wonder: Searching for Contemporary Istanbul”, 2013,  MAK Museum, Vienna ve Kunstverein Hannover;  “HereTogetherNow Public Presentation”, 2013, MataderoMadrid; “An Attempt At Exhausting a Place”, Passover Bakery, 2013, Istanbul. She lives and works in Istanbul.  

SAHA Studio Selection Committee 2019-2020

Çelenk Bafra is a curator based in Istanbul and the director of SAHA Studio and the SAHA Association that supports contemporary art from Turkey globally. From 2011 to the end of 2017, she was the curator and the director of exhibitions and programs at Istanbul Modern. Between 2001 and 2010, she worked at Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) and assumed various roles such as the director of the Istanbul Biennial, the artistic coordinator of Saison de la Turquie in France, the founding director of the Studio of Turkey at Cité des Arts in Paris and the consultant for the Pavilion of Turkey in the Venice Biennale. Bafra also curated exhibitions and programs for museums and art institutions in Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. She writes reviews for publications and periodicals and produces and presents a talk show “Hariçten Sanat” [Art from the Exterior] broadcast on Mondays on Açık Radyo. She is a member of CIMAM and AICA Turkey; and was appointed by the French Ministry of Culture a member of the board of directors of MUCEM in Marseille until 2016.  As a curator, she focuses on group exhibitions based on research and production, including School Square Galatasaray (2018), An Exile on Earth (2018-2019), Harbor (2017), Till It’s Gone (2015-2016), Neighbours (2014), Plurivocality (2014), Modernity? (2013), La La La Human Steps & Istanbul Modern Rotterdam (2012), Uncanny Encounters (2011), Ahmet Cevdet Bey Presents: Tunnel of Fear (2011), Fantasie et Ile (2010), Emploi Saisonnier (2009-2010), 60 Ans 60 Vidéos (2009) as well as international programs such as YAP: Young Architects Program, Artists’ Film International and Museums Talk series (From the USA, UK, Germany) until 2018.

Hera Büyüktaşcıyan is an artist based in Istanbul. She graduated from Marmara University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Painting Department in 2006. The artist uses the notion of the other and combines it with the concepts of absence and invisibility, in order to compose an imaginary connection between identity, memory, space and time through the other. By using metaphors from local myths, historic and iconographic elements, she opens a new narrative scope for the other. Artist in Residence programmes she has participated in are ACSL, Yerevan (2011); PiST/// Interdisciplinary Project Space, Istanbul (2012); AIRDrop, Stockholm (2012); Villa Waldberta, Munich (2012-13); Delfina Foundation, London (2014); Belles Artes, Philippines (2018). Selected exhibitions include GIGANTISME, Dunkirk, France (2019); “Neither on the Ground, Nor in the Sky” IFA Galerie, Berlin (2019); “School Square Galatasaray”, curated by curated by Celenk Bafra, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (2018); “Planetary Planning”, Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2018); “Doublethink: Double vision”, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); “Write Injuries on Sand and Kindness in Marble”, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2017); “Let Us Cultivate Our Garden”, Cappadox Festival, Cappadocia, Turkey (2016); EVA International Biennial, Limerick City, Ireland (2016); “Land without Land”, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg, Germany (2016); “Istanbul: Passion, Joy, Fury”, MAXXI, The National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome, Italy (2016); 14. Istanbul Biennial (2015); 56. Venice Biennial, Armenian Pavilion, Venice, Italy (2015); “A Century of Centuries“, SALT, Istanbul (2015); ‘’The Jerusalem Show’’, Jerusalem, Israel (2014); “The Land Across the Blind”, Galeri Manâ, Istanbul (2014); IN SITU, PiST///, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); “ Envy, Enmity, Embarrassment”, ARTER, Istanbul (2013); “Reflecting on Reflection”, Galeri Manâ, Istanbul, Turkey (2012).

Vasıf Kortun is a curator, educator and writer in the field of contemporary art, its institutions, and exhibition practices. Kortun has worked on a few biennials including Taipei Biennale (2008) co-curated with ManRay Hsu, 9th International Istanbul Biennial (2005) co-curated with Charles Esche and worked as one of the group of curators of the 24. São Paulo Biennial (1998). He was the director and chief curator of the 3rd International Istanbul Biennial (1992). Kortun served as the founding director of several international institutions, including SALT, Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Proje4L, and the Museum of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. In 2006, he received the Award for Curatorial Excellence from the Center for Curatorial Studies for his "experimental approach and openness to new ideas to challenge the contemporary art world and push its parameters beyond national or international, local or global developments." Kortun has written extensively on contemporary art and visual culture in Turkey for publications and periodicals internationally. Recent publications include the second volume of his collected writings 20 (SALT, 2018) and VOTI: The Union of the Imaginary: a Curators’ Forum co-edited with Susan Hapgood and November Paynter, which explores the online discussion platform for international curators in the late 1990s (Walther König Books, 2016).