Through its recent collaboration with Artis in 2023, SAHA hosts a curator from Israel for a course of 5-weeks in Istanbul within the scope of SAHA Curatorial Program, thus contributing to a dialogue of the resident curator with the artists, curators, art professionals, and institutions in Turkey.

SAHA-supported participants of the program

Avital Barak

Avital Barak
September-October 2023

Dr. Avital Barak is an associate curator at the Center for Digital Art (CDA) in Holon and a scholar specializing in movement and performance. Her Ph.D. research delves into the various forms of resistance manifested through movement in public spaces. At Kibbutzim College, Barak teaches courses covering the history, theory, and cultural studies of performance, dance in public spaces, and writing.

Barak's curatorial work encompasses exhibitions rooted in research, public events, and collaborative research groups. Over the past decade, she has curated solo and group exhibitions based on research in Israel and internationally. Her articles have been published in esteemed Hebrew and English journals and publications.


As part of an ongoing method of collective investigation developed by the CDA over the past six years, a research group of artists, historians, archaeologists, architects, and urban planners embarked on a journey to trace the remnants of the Ottoman Empire in Israel/Palestine. Over the past year, the group thoroughly explored texts, documents, sites, and institutions, engaging with people they encountered along the way, fostering imagination and speculative thinking.

This quest is centered around shedding light on a silenced and erased past, focusing on our region and its connection to the Ottoman Empire. Given the vast amount of data and investigative possibilities spanning over 400 years, it was only feasible to cover some of the different phases of the relationship between the Empire's center and our region. This is why our project, from the start, was fragmentary, arbitrary, and at times esoteric. We acknowledge and use it as a "code" for the journey's progress. 

This project is a collaboration of the CDA, Holon, with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation; it will conclude with an exhibition opening in November at the CDA, accompanied by an alternative audio-visual digital tour currently being developed by the group. The core principles of this research project lie in collective investigation, shared knowledge, and collaboration. We are committed to upholding these principles throughout our work on the research outcomes.

About Artis

Artis supports contemporary artists from Israel whose work addresses aesthetic, social, and political questions that inspire reflection and debate. Artis is an independent, nonprofit organization based in New York. Artis connects artists, curators, and the public through international programs that emphasize long-term dialogue and conversation. Through grants supporting exhibitions, residencies, curatorial research and travel, acquisitions, and publications, our programs facilitate opportunities for arts professionals to connect with artists from Israel; foster artist engagement with art institutions worldwide; and contextualize art from Israel within international contemporary art discourse. Artis supports artists of any religion, ethnicity, race, gender, or political persuasion, and the freedom of speech and artistic expression for all people. To maintain independence, Artis does not seek or accept governmental funds.

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