from “DETAIL” exhibition, April 2016, photo by Uğur Eren
BLOK art space is a contemporary art space located in Çukurcuma, Istanbul. Our mission is to promote and support up and coming new media and contemporary artists, curators through exhibitions, performances and collaborations.
BLOK art space was founded to become a junction for art projects that needs a “space”. Alongside permanent exhibitions, performances, seminars and events, the space aims to support street projects by being inclusive to its surroundings. It is a contemporary art project space that welcomes interdisciplinary collaborations and works that incorporate techniques formed within contemporary art through science and technology.
*You can download the plan from here.
Located on Çakmakçılar hill and constructed by the order of Kösem Valide Sultan in the 17th century, Büyük Valide Han is known as the biggest inn in Istanbul. With 153 rooms surrounding the first and second courtyards, and 57 around the third, Büyük Valide Han is the first inn to include three courtyards in the city. Facing the third courtyard of the inn is the city inn known as Küçük Han or Sagir Han. Engaged in contemporary art, BLOK art space recognizes the extensive and complex history of the city it exists in, and continues to seek out diverse spaces to house the gallery’s projects. Büyük Valide Han, from this aspect, embodies this complex historical depth in its essence. While not known as an art district per se, Mahmutpaşa’s old inns neighborhood has been the inspiration behind and subject of various art projects, which will allow the gallery to further unveil what Istanbul hides within. Continuing our presence in the existing BLOK art space Çukurcuma, the gallery will now start to hold additional art projects with BLOK art space Büyük Valide Han. Although both spaces can be used for one unifying project, the gallery aims to understand these spaces as separate platforms in terms of function. Hoping to establish an open space, Valide Han’s intended usage will include artist workshops and residency programs for artists creating space-specific works. Concurrently, the gallery will urge viewers to explore the inn with each project, and introduce new and in-depth points of view towards time and history. To achieve this, BLOK art space hopes to work with artists and researchers that can address the historical, sociological, and political complexity of Büyük Valide Han from various perspectives. With various projects, the gallery will invite artists, researchers, and viewers alike to study and discuss ever detail the inn reveals, conceals, contains, and buries within. In realizing this, the space will became a new platform for temporary exhibitions, performances, seminars, and research projects.