UNESCO Cities of Design

Turkish non-profit contemporary art space Arter is relocating to a state-of-the-art exhibition space in Dolapdere district.

Arter, one of Turkey’s leading contemporary art non-profits, is graduating to a museum that will be a “game-changer” for Istanbul. So promises its director, Melih Fereli, who is overseeing the move from the “small white cube” on Istiklal Street to a new 18,000 sq. m building in the central Dolapdere district designed by Grimshaw Architects. It is due to open on 13 September, during the preview of the 16th Istanbul Biennial.

Thirty-five exhibitions and more than 180 art commissions produced in almost a decade at the previous space were a “testing ground”, Fereli says, for an institution that aims to foster “contemporary artistic production across all disciplines, from music to dance, theatre to sonic arts, film to literature”. It is a vision that he says springs from his background as head of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), the umbrella organization behind the city’s film, theatre, music and jazz festivals as well as the biennial.