Foundation aims to support artists, curators and critics
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
SAHA supports the production of works that seek to bear witness to our times, interact with different cultures, and concern themselves with asking new questions. The foundation raises funds for artists, curators and critics to.The SAHA Foundation, which promotes to the presence and visibility of contemporary art from Turkey on the international art scene, also aims to support projects and contribute to the art-making process.
The foundation offers support to artists, curators and critics, said Merve Çağlar, secretary-general of SAHA. “We aim to gather international curators and Turkish curators together on the same ground, and also do the same for critics.”
SAHA supports the production of works that seek to bear witness to our times, interact with different cultures, and concern themselves with asking new questions. The foundation raises funds for artists, curators and critics to pursue such projects.
Currently, SAHA is collaborating with International Curatorial Intensive (ICI). “This is the first initiative of the foundation. ICI is an education program, and curators from Turkey will have the opportunity to apply to this program,” said Çağlar, adding that SAHA aims to promote Turkish curators on an international platform.
SAHA facilitates the realization of projects that have been commissioned or accepted by internationally acknowledged art institutions, supports the process of fundraising, and strives to enhance artists’ interaction with the art world’s international networks. SAHA’s main principle is to consider all points of view on an equal basis. The foundation’s objective is to establish an “open field” (“saha” means “field” in Turkish) for contemporary art in Turkey and to achieve this within a free environment, using a democratic approach respectful of universal values. SAHA not only supports curatorial programs but also aims to expand the range of Turkish contemporary art. “For example at Performa 2011 [biennial of visual art performance held in New York], we supported an artist. We have also supported a curatorial program, which happened simultaneously with Performa 11. The education program was mainly on performance art,” Çağlar said.
SAHA’s residency programs
In the future, SAHA plans to support curators, critics and artists with an art residency program. “Currently, we are trying to create collaborations with residency programs in the international arena. The collaboration with ICI was a significant move for us,” Cağlar said.
These collaborations with other foundations will hopefully be for the long-term, she added. “We will support curators, giving them the opportunity to attend ICI, in the coming three years.” To facilitate the ICI cooperation, SAHA is about to launch its SAHA Research Grant, an exclusive program. “Curators, artists, and critics who attend the program will have the chance to attend courses and education programs abroad.”
The SAHA Curatorial Intensive Scholarship will support qualified contemporary art curators of Turkish origin to partake in ICI’s Curatorial Intensives. In 2012 four scholarships will be offered to successful applicants. Two will attend the course in Brazil in partnership with Inhotim (April 22-28). Two more will be selected for either of two Curatorial Intensives in New York: “Contemporary Curatorial Practice” (July 8-17), and “Curating: Beyond Exhibition Making” (October 21-30); or the program in China in collaboration with the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (August 5-11). All expenses will be covered by the SAHA Foundation.
International festivals and SAHA
“We [the SAHA Foundation] help artists attend events such as La Triennale, Manifesta, Performa, Documenta and the Istanbul Biennale. We feel this gives artists the chance to move forward onto international art scenes,” Çağlar said. “This also helps Turkish contemporary art expand its reach to other countries.”
SAHA also hopes to work with international foundations and benefit from the experiences of these foundations. “Working with our consultant team, consisting of Fulya Erdemci, Jessica Morgan and Carolyn Christov Bakargiev, we are trying to develop new programs,” Çağlar said. “We will continue to create new programs and expand the accessibility of Turkey’s contemporary art scene.”