Becas Salt de Investigación y Producción Artísticas

Salt and the BBVA Foundation announce the projects supported by the 2024-2025 Salt Artistic Research and Production Grant Program

Salt and the BBVA Foundation announce the recipients of the Salt Artistic Research and Production Grant Program. Geared towards artists from Türkiye who investigate contemporary social questions through interdisciplinary methodologies, the grant program aims to provide a dynamic space for artistic research and production and encourage robust engagement between creative practitioners and their communities across the region.

5 July, 2024

This year’s selection committee comprised Vasıf Kortun (Curator), Elvira Dyangani Ose (Director, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona), Manuel Segade (Director, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía), Ala Younis (Artistic Director, Akademie der Künste der Welt), Fatma Çolakoğlu (Director, Salt Research and Programs), and Juan Pujol (Assistant Director, BBVA Foundation).

After evaluating 193 applications, the committee selected Aslı Uludağ‘s Geothermalisms project for the Artistic Research Grant. The committee awarded two artist projects for the Production Grant: Ali Taptık’s Looking at Osmanbey: Social and Spatial Entanglements of Fashion Trade and Merve Mepa’s An Interwoven Network: Threads and Trace. Regarding the selections, the committee has stated: “The Research Grant has been unanimously awarded to Aslı Uludağ for her project on the material politics of geothermal energy development in the Aegean Region of Turkey. The proposal stood out for its exceptional depth, commitment to the research topic, and scholarly elaborateness of its approach. Both finalists for the Production Grant, Ali Taptık on fashion trade in Osmanbey and Merve Mepa on the interactions and intersections between humans, craft, and technology, presented compelling proposals with substantial artistic merit. The jurors opted to support both projects, considering their exceptional nature. We acknowledge that their projects represent different artistic approaches, and we believe funding both will contribute to a more diverse artistic landscape.”

Aslı Uludağ will receive 20,000 Euros for the Artistic Research Grant; Ali Taptık and Merve Mepa will receive 10.000 Euros each for the Production Grant in funding support for their projects. The supported artists will present their work at Salt (Türkiye) and the BBVA Foundation (Spain) in 2025.

About the Artists

Aslı Uludağ received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MA in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London. Through her research-based practice, she explores the legal, architectural, and techno-scientific structures that organize the relationship between humans and the environment and investigates the violence enacted through these processes. She proposes alternative modes of engaging with the environment through performative and interactive installations, workshops, and speculative narratives. The exhibitions she took part in include What Water Knows, Pilot Gallery, Istanbul (2022); 5th Istanbul Design Biennial (2020); A Handful of Rights, Pera Museum, Istanbul (2018); and Dissecting Signifiers, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago (2016). She is among the recipients of the Prince Claus Mentorship Award (2022) and co-founder of Practices of Attunement.

Ali Taptık is an artist and publisher focusing on the representation of urban landscape and architecture, the relationship between the individual and the city, psychogeography, and the interaction of literature and visuality. In addition to working with institutions to document and research the ever-changing landscape of Istanbul, Taptık has published several books, including Kaza ve Kader (Filigranes Editions, 2009), Depicting Istanbul (Akin Nalca, 2010), There are no failed experiments (Atelier de Visu, 2012), and Nothing Surprising (Marraine Ginette, 2015). Her works have been exhibited in various institutions, including Pera Museum, Salt (Istanbul), MAXXI (Rome), Ashkal Alwan (Beirut), and the Venice Biennial for Architecture. Taptık was one of the founders of the Bandrolsüz collective for distributing independent artists’ books and the Initiative for the Preservation of Historic Yedikule Gardens. Taptık works as the editor-in-chief of Onagöre︎, a publishing, research, and design studio, and as a curatorial advisor for 212 Photography Istanbul︎.

Merve Mepa explores the interactions between material forms and social discourse in handicraft production practices, drawing, printmaking, internet networks, video, and experimental electronics. She focuses on the historical evolution of tradition, labor, cultural sciences, and technologies’ production modes and their methods. After completing her undergraduate studies in mathematics and painting, she continues her PhD studies at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Painting. She lives and works in Istanbul.

About Salt and the BBVA Foundation

Founded by Garanti BBVA, Salt is a not-for-profit cultural institution engaging in research, exhibitions, publications, web projects, and public programs at the intersections of visual practices, the built environment, social life, and economic history. The BBVA Foundation, as the corporate social responsibility of the BBVA Group, is committed to advancing society by promoting and disseminating knowledge through research-based, artistic, cultural, and scientific projects.

About the Selection Committee

Vasif Kortun is a curator, writer, and educator in visual art, its institutions, and spatial practices. He was the founding director of research & programs of Salt (2011-17) in Istanbul. He led 68 exhibitions and 1,450 public programs, published 17 e-books and five print publications, and expanded Salt’s library & archive to 1,800,000 digital objects and 100,000 publications. He founded Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul (2001-10), and was the first director of the Museum of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (1994-97). Kortun has co-curated the Taipei Biennale (2008) and the 9th International Istanbul Biennial (2005) and was one of the co-curators of the 24. São Paulo Biennial (1998). He was the director and chief curator of the 3rd International Istanbul Biennial (1992). Kortun also curated the UAE Pavilion for the Venice Biennale (2011), the Turkish Pavilion for the São Paulo Biennale (1994 and 1998), and the Venice Biennales (2007). Kortun is a recipient of the Award for Curatorial Excellence from CCS, Bard College. Recent publications include Sentez ve Montaj: Özer Kabaş Yazıları (Montage & Synthesis: Texts of Özer Kabaş, Salt, Istanbul, 2023), Serseri Mayın Gürel Yontan (Loose Cannon: Gürel Yontan, Salt, Istanbul, 2023), and İpek Duben: The Skin, Body, and I (Salt & Mousse Publications, 2024). Kortun has taught as a guest professor in many institutions, including Istanbul Bilgi University (2009-2012), NABA, Milan (2008-2011,2014); Sommerakademie, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2009); Mimar Sinan University and Istanbul Kültür University, (2004-2005) HISK, Netherlands Institute of Fine Arts (1999 & 2003-05); Konstfack, Stockholm (2001-2002, 2004); Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts (2000-2003 & 2005).

Elvira Dyangani Ose is the director of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). She has been the director and chief curator of The Showroom in London, a lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a member of the Thought Council, Fondazione Prada. She has previously been curator of the Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art; curator of international art at Tate Modern, London; artistic director of Rencontres Picha – Lubumbashi Biennial, Democratic Republic of the Congo; curator of contemporary art at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC), Seville; senior curator at Creative Time in New York; and curator of contemporary art at the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

Manuel Segade is the director of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. He trained as an art historian and led CA2M (Museo Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo) in the Madrid municipality of Móstoles for ten years, where he was awarded the CIMAM Outstanding Museum Practice Award (2021). Segade has taught in post-graduate curatorial programs and has been an author and editor of numerous books, including Elements of Vogue, Kiss My Genders, and Endgame: Duchamp, Chess and the Avant-gardes. He is a founding member of the European Art Assembly and the European Forum for Advanced Practices. Segade curated the Spanish Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.

Ala Younis is an artist who has done curatorial, film, and publishing projects. She presented her work in solo shows in Amman, Dubai, Sharjah, New York, London, Seville, and Prague. She also participated in group exhibitions, including Venice, Istanbul, Gwangju, Ljubljana, Kaunas, Ural, and Orleans biennials. She curated the first Kuwaiti Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2013), the collection and interventions of the Museum of Manufactured Response to Absence (2012–2014), and co-curated the Singapore Biennale (2022). In 2012, Ala Younis co-founded Kayfa ta, an independent publishing initiative researching, exhibiting, and publishing on and through independent publishing endeavors. She is co-section head of Berlinale’s Forum Expanded, Artistic Director of Akademie der Kunst der Welt (Cologne), and Research Scholar at al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Fatma Çolakoğlu has curated exhibitions and film and video art programs for the last fifteen years. In 2005, she established the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art film department. Subsequently, she was responsible for the film and video programs of Pera Film and headed the communications department of the Pera Museum in Istanbul. Following her associate director role at Salt, in January 2022, she was appointed Director of Research and Programs. In recent years, she has been part of the International Short Film Jury of Berlinale Shorts 2020 and Istanbul Experimental. She has also participated in Proyector 13/Festival de Videoarte and Videonale Bonn festivals. She is interested in the critical relationship between the moving image and social studies. She holds an MA in Theatre Directing from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a BA in Film and Media Art from Emerson College.

Juan Pujol Rodriguez is currently the assistant director of the BBVA Foundation and head of communication for the areas of socioeconomics and culture at the same institution, a position he has held since 2019. With a degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Design, he has managed the communication, design, and strategy of cultural activities there for over eight years. He joined the BBVA Foundation in 2016 as deputy director of the Department of Communication and Institutional Relations. He has extensive experience in the media, both audiovisual and written, where he has worked as a writer and editor.