SALT Turkey

SALT is a Turkish contemporary art institution It was started by Vasif Kortun and Garanti Bank in 2011, and has exhibition and workshop spaces in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey It combines the previous activities of the Garanti Gallery, the Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Centre and the Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center of the bank

SALT explores critical and timely issues in visual and material culture, and cultivates innovative programs for research and experimental thinking Assuming an open attitude and establishing itself as a site of learning and debate SALT aims to challenge, excite and provoke its visitors by encouraging them to offer critique and response

SALT Galata is organized to enable a challenging, multi-layered program that includes SALT Research, which offers public access to thousands of print and digital resources; a 218-capacity Auditorium; the renovated Ottoman Bank Museum; Workshop spaces; an Open Archive where archival research projects are interpreted and discussed; a temporary exhibition space; as well as a Café, Restaurant and Bookstore

SALT Research sources diverse fields of knowledge and provides outlets for thought within the fissures and crossovers of different disciplines The institution’s research projects expand beyond linear chronologies, medium-based questions, and the traditional separation of fields of study SALT assembles archives of recent art, architecture, design, urbanism, and social and economic histories to make them available for research and public use These resources will be interpreted in the form of exhibitions and discussed in all other areas of programming

SALT is one of the six members of L’Internationale, a confederation of European art institutions; the other member institutions are the Moderna galerija in Ljubljana, in Slovenia; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, in Spain; the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona in Barcelona, also in Spain; the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen in Antwerp, in Belgium; and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands

SALT’s activities are distributed between SALT Beyoğlu and SALT Galata in İstanbul, and SALT Ulus in Ankara within an integrated program structure SALT Beyoğlu, is on the pedestrian street İstiklal Caddesi, and shares its audience with a cluster of private cultural institutions, galleries and organizations SALT Beyoğlu’s program and circulation interiors are mainly occupied by exhibition and event spaces The building of SALT Galata was formerly the 19th century Imperial Ottoman Bank headquarters designed by Alexandre Vallaury SALT Galata is organized to enable a challenging, multi-layered program that includes SALT Research, offering public access to thousands of print and digital resources; spaces dedicated to research; workshops; an exhibition and conference hall; as well as the Ottoman Bank Museum SALT Ulus is a site for exhibitions and programs, and hosts young researchers for extended periods in two research residency offices

The architectural renovation of SALT Beyoğlu and SALT Galata was undertaken by Mimarlar Tasarım/Han Tümertekin, with specific interiors commissioned to six design and architecture offices from Turkey in an effort to underscore SALT’s desire to advocate new experimental environments for living and working

French Levantine architect Alexandre Vallauri designed the original building of SALT Galata to house the Ottoman Bank as inaugurated in 1892 The building is a landmark unique to İstanbul with surprisingly distinct architectural styles—neoclassical and oriental—applied on opposite façades

The redesign of the building, also undertaken by Mimarlar Tasarım, involves the introduction of major new structural interventions, while the office’s architectural approach clears the building of later surface additions to reveal original contemporary features

SALT has three gallery spaces, all owned by Garanti Bank: the former headquarters of the Imperial Ottoman Bank in Galata, Istanbul; a former apartment block, the Siniossoglou Apartments, in Beyoğlu, Istanbul; and a former guest-house of the Ottoman Bank in Ulus, Ankara