April 11, 2011

Istanbul's SALT Taking the Lead in Innovation

With its eye-catching posters greeting you at every turn, SALT is drawing attention to its artistic projects that defy genre classification.


SALT is not a museum, art institution, an architectural institution, research facility or gallery; it is everything that stands for innovation and alteration, SALT Research and Programs Director Vasıf Kortun recently told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

“Saying that SALT is only for culture is not exactly right, we might have a project at some point where we deal with something that we might see as a part of culture and others not,” Kortun said. “SALT wants to stand for innovation and change and wants to work toward that direction.”

“SALT explores critical and timely issues in visual and material culture, and cultivates innovative programs for research and experimental thinking,” its posters around Istanbul say.

The creation of SALT started back in 2006 with Garanti Bank’s decision to make an autonomous institute out of three of its institutions: Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Ottoman Bank Museum, and Garanti Gallery, leading to the opening of SALT Beyoğlu this month on Istanbul’s iconic İstiklal Avenue; In September, meanwhile, SALT will open another location in Galata.

“Thousands of people pass in front of SALT Beyoğlu,” SALT Communication and Management Director Sima Benaroya told the Daily News in explaining the difference between the two locations that are so close together. “İstiklal Avenue is a pedestrian street with a great flow. Here we will have programs or exhibitions that will be faster to consume. SALT Galata is twice the size of SALT Beyoğlu and houses a serious archive and library. At the same time there is the Ottoman Bank Museum at SALT Galata with its permanent exhibition, apart from that, there are other exhibition rooms available in which changing exhibitions will be exhibited.”

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