Moving Museum comes to Istanbul
The Moving Museum will occupy two spaces, including a 6,000-square-meter warehouse, run by the local publishing house Near East, which will serve as a residency headquarters.Following major projects in Dubai and London in 2013, the Moving Museum, a London-based non-profit organization, has launched its third and most ambitious endeavor in Istanbul this year: the establishment of a major international residency program lasting three months.
From August to October, The Moving Museum will host 38 international artists, including Germany’s Hito Steyer and Ming Wong, Switzerland’s Mai-Thu Perret, Turkey’s Nilbar Güreş and Aslı Çavuşoğlu, marking the largest coordinated influx of international resident artists in Istanbul’s recent memory. The project includes 12 artists from Turkey that serve as the foundation to the period of intensive dialogue, featuring a curated public program of events, talks, workshops lectures and performances.
Each artist has been commissioned to work on a local project aimed at making a lasting impact on the city, their artistic practices, as well as collaborating artists and their host countries upon their return. The residency will culminate in a major biennale-style exhibition launch at the end of October as a means of articulating their experiences and practices within the new context.
“During our research, we found that the last major international residency program was discontinued a few years ago,” said Simon Sakhai, a co-founder of the Moving Museum. “We couldn’t believe that a city like Istanbul, with its rich cultural heritage, burgeoning art scene and geopolitical significance, no longer had this important cultural link to the rest of the world.”
The Moving Museum will occupy two spaces, including a 6,000-square-meter warehouse, run by the local publishing house Near East, which will serve as a residency headquarters, according to the Art Newspaper. The venue, located in the central neighborhood of Dolapdere, will host talks, workshops and exhibitions.
The second venue is the Caferiye Han on the famous Golden Horn. “We are taking on several studios there for Moving Museum artists as well as a retail space within the complex for site-specific projects,” said Aya Mousawi, a co-founder of the Moving Museum. “We think it will be an exciting opportunity to engage with the local community and utilize the amazing resources of the surrounding area and grand bazaar.”
The Vinyl Factory, a London-based company that produces vinyl editions and organizes exhibitions, is a founding partner, providing core funding for the scheme. “We are continuing to fundraise through various sponsors, cultural institutions and foundations, both locally and internationally. The Institut Français and the Australian Embassy in Turkey, for example, are supporting their national artists in a modest, but nonetheless valuable, way,” Mousawi said.
The Moving Museum is a global art project that seeks to re-define the relationship between local art scenes and global practitioners through a traveling program of contemporary art exhibitions in significant geographies across the world.
It launched its first exhibition early last year in Dubai; a second iteration opened in October in London, coinciding with Frieze London. It runs an in-depth education program alongside each exhibition, involving high-quality publications, curator-led panel discussions, talks with artists, performances, film screenings and workshops aimed at establishing dialogue and bringing important information to the public. Each exhibition will have a unique education program aimed at engaging with local and international audiences, educational bodies, artists, institutions, curators, press and general art enthusiasts.