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Second Term with Five Artists at SAHA Studio

Founded in 2011 as a non governmental organization in Turkey, SAHA—Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey was  aims to improve the learning and production infrastructure of artists, curators and critics working in the field of contemporary art; and to enhance their dialogue with the international networks through projects, grants, collaborations, residency programs and partnerships. SAHA, launched a news space and program with SAHA Studio in August 2019 in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. SAHA Studio is a co-working space and residency program dedicated to research, production, collaboration and networking. SAHA Studio provides emerging to mid-career artists from Turkey with a studio and a coworking space for a period of six months, curatorial support, honorarium and a stipend for living expenses, research and production. SAHA Studio’s program includes regular studio visits by art critics, conversations with artists and academics, collection and exhibition tours with curators, study trips abroad, and meetings for professional development and networking.

The second term of SAHA Studio is scheduled until the end of 2020 with the participation of five artists: Kerem Ozan BayraktarBorga KantürkGülşah Mursaloğlu, Metehan Özcan and Dilek Winchester. For the nomination and selection of artists in 2019–2020, SAHA’s board appointed educator and curator Vasıf Kortun, artist Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, and the founding director of SAHA Studio and curator Çelenk Bafra, who also approached five independent art initiatives that SAHA supports to nominate artists from different regions of Turkey: Torun in Ankara, sub in Çanakkale, Loading in Diyarbakır, Hayy and Karantina in Izmir.

SAHA Studio also hosts international curators and researchers within the scope of SAHA’s curatorial program. The curatorial program provides accommodation, coworking space, assistance for research and a stipend to the invited curators. In October 2019, Alesha Mercado from Mexico conducted a research on art and sustainable development in Turkey at SAHA Studio. SAHA’s ongoing partnerships with international residency programs Ashkal Alwan in Beirut, Delfina Foundation in London, Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, and ISCP in New York, and collaborations with Independent Curators International (ICI), De Appel Curatorial Programme and AICA Turkey also contributes to SAHA Studio’s programs.

The first term SAHA Studio was held from August 2019 to the end of February 2020 with the participation of four artists: Larissa Araz, Alper Aydın, Özgür Demirci and Sibel Horada. 

SAHA Studio Second Term Artists

Kerem Ozan Bayraktar (1984, Istanbul) After completing his Master’s degree and Proficiency in Arts at Marmara University Fine Arts Institute, Bayraktar teaches courses on digital images, art theory, photography and print-making techniques at various institutions, writes about art and makes presentations for various platforms. His works centers around establishing physical and conceptual environments. Using digital visualizations, photographs, animations, models, everyday objects, texts and graphics, Bayraktar focuses on the behavior of natural and artificial systems, their occlusion points, boundaries, collapses, mutations, and how we make sense of them. These systems consist of organizations ranging from spontaneous urban plants to exoplanets, which are quite different in terms of content but have similar systemic principles.  

Borga Kantürk (1978, Izmir) is an artist, curator and academician who completed his undergraduate study at the Painting Department of Dokuz Eylül University between 1995-1999. After completing his master’s degree in DEU, GSF Painting Department (1999-2003) and then art proficiency, Kantürk is now working as a lecturer at the Painting Department. Kantürk is one of the founders of KUTU Portable Art Space (2002) he is the co-founder of K2 Art Center (2003), at which he served as the project manager of the space between 2004-2007. He is also one of the founding members of the 6x6x6 Izmir collective (2017) and KARANTİNA art space (2018).

Gülşah Mursaloğlu (1989, Istanbul) completed her master's degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago after graduating from Boğaziçi University, Department of Sociology. In her works, she explores materiality, matter’s agency and human and non-human temporalities. Her installations, which emerge after an in-depth and extensive research process, don’t remain stable in form, and rather manifest themselves as dynamic and fluid systems through their ephemeral nature.

Metehan Özcan (1975, Istanbul) completed his undergraduate education at Bilkent University, Department of Interior Architecture, and completed his master's degree on Visual Communication Design at Bilgi University. Questioning the existence and representation of the modernist space in his works, Özcan also takes into account the alienation that people experience with their environment. Working as a part-time lecturer at various universities, Özcan lives in Istanbul. 

Dilek Winchester (1974, Istanbul) After graduating from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, Dilek Winchester received her practice-based D.F.A in sculpture at Marmara University. She has been working as a lecturer at Istanbul Okan University since 2013. Dilek Winchester’s work often investigates translation, literature, language, drama, oral history, and emotional expressions. Her research based work has been about alphabets, the alphabet reform in Turkey and the literary canon with a particular emphasis on Karamanlidika and Armeno-Turkish books from the 19th Century.