Rem Art Space opens new horizons in art scene
Hatice Utkan Özden - ISTANBULRem Art Space, an independent venue close to the Museum of Innocence, is the venue du jour for young artists aiming to reveal their creative potential in contemporary art. The venue is no ordinary place for art lovers, boasting many different art projects, including performances and solo and joint exhibitions.
Mehmet Kahraman, the director and the owner of the space, created the venue from an old frame-making atelier. The large venue was divided into two and now half of it continues to serve as a frame atelier while the other half has become a contemporary art venue. It is obvious that Kahraman is one of the players in the contemporary art scene whose aim is not to make money but support the creation of high-quality art.
“That’s why I am trying to allocate this space for different projects and combine performance, art and other disciplines of contemporary art,” Kahraman said.
Kahraman’s efforts are significant for Istanbul’s art scene, as the venue has no sponsor, of either the corporate or rich individual variety. Amid the growing financial worries in the Turkish art market, the Rem Art Space stands as an exemplary place to support art. Although many new venues have opened in the neighborhood, which has become one of the most popular venues in Istanbul, it is hard to tell which one will survive.
Frame atelier turns into an exhibition area
Many venue proprietors are trying new things to reach and develop more audiences in the art scene. In order to open a new space for dialogue in contemporary art, Kahraman has continued to operate the venue as a frame atelier, lending an additional creative context to his art space.
Kahraman’s landlord, Yakup Yılmaz, is a middle-aged man who seeks a life full of dedication to art and hard work. Yılmaz says it is necessary to open paths for young people and support art. That’s why he is sharing his venue with Kahraman.
Rem Art Space is a venue that opens new paths to artists. For example a recent exhibition and project, “Three Legged Table: An Organism,” focused on the art process while recording the interdisciplinary study process of the exhibition space used as the production area.
Another project that attracted many art lovers was Maik Armstrong’s New Gold Dream exhibition.
Kahraman’s exhibitions are provocative and bold and feature shows which are hard to see in this scene.
Kahraman is open to different ideas and projects, and many artists come to him to realize refused projects.
Kahraman’s main goal is to continue with Rem Art Space, although he acknowledged the difficulties presented by a lack of big sponsors or financial assets. As his exhibitions become more interdisciplinary, such as through performance- and project-based exhibitions, it is hard to stand alone in the market.
As a result, the problem in the Turkish art market remains the same: Despite great exhibitions and artists, the lack of real monetary support always presents problems. It is a fact that Rem Art Space needs more support – not only from collectors, but also from people who support art in Turkey. This may ultimately be a question of supporting the art scene, which needs more independent venues. In this, Kahraman is doing his best to help.