Vasif Kortun to Retire From Turkey’s SALT Art Center in 2017

He has served as Director since 2011.

Vast Kortun. Courtesy OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images.

Vasif Kortun, Director of SALT in Istanbul and Ankara, will step down from his post in 2017. He will continue to serve on SALT’s board of directors, according to ArtAsiaPacific. Kortun has been in the director role at the institution since 2011.

Though the official announcement of his departure has yet to be made, the magazine reports that Meriç Öner, SALT’s associate director of research and programs, has been tapped as his replacement.

SALT is an institution composed of three venues spanning Istanbul and Ankara that hold galleries as well as a theater, library, and archives. Its Beyoğlu location has been closed since the beginning of the year due to apparent renovations, though the real reason behind its shut doors remains under question. The space is expected to reopen in 2017—possibly coinciding with Kortun’s retirement from the directorship position.

Kortun boasts an impressive resume. Prior to SALT, he founded and ran Platform Garanti, an exhibition space and artist residency program that was brought into SALT in 2010. He curated and directed the third Istanbul Biennial, and went on to co-direct the ninth Istanbul Biennial as well.

In addition, Kortun was the founding director of the Museum of the Centre of Curatorial Studies at Bard College from 1994-1997, where he later received the 9th annual award for Curatorial Excellence from the center in 2006. Furthermore, in demonstrating his special ties to his native country, he curated the Turkish pavilions for the 1994 and 1998 iterations of the São Paolo Bienal, as well as the 2007 Venice Biennale.


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