Contemporary art Turkey

Land art writ large

Art park in Cappadocia, Turkey set to open

Rogers' Time and Space, 2009

ISTANBUL. Turkey is again staking its claim as a pre-eminent art destination with a new wave of galleries opening in Istanbul. But attention is set to shift away from the city with a major land art project in the central Cappadocia region, due to be completed this month.

Australian sculptor Andrew Rogers’ “Time and Space” initiative “is the largest contemporary land art park in the world, a series of 12 major structures, mostly built by hand”, according to a project spokesman. When asked about the long-term conservation, Rogers said: “These works will over time reintegrate into the landscape.” The scheme is part of Rogers’ ambitious global venture “Rhythms of Life” begun in 1998 whereby the artist has constructed geoglyphs in 13 countries including Israel, Chile, Bolivia, China and India.

Sponsors of “Time and Space” include two major Turkish corporations, Borusan Holding and Garanti Bank. The latter has made the radical decision to close its Garanti Gallery, the Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Centre, and Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, all in central Istanbul, ­to launch a new initiative entitled Salt. This organisation is split between two 19th-century buildings: Salt Beyoglu, located on the central thoroughfare Istiklal Caddesi, which opened in April with three floors of exhibition space, and Salt Galata, launching this September in the Beyoglu district. A spokesman declined to reveal the cost of the Salt initiative.

Meanwhile, Kerimcan Guler­yuz, co-founder of the Istanbul-based commercial gallery X-ist, has set up Empire, a commercial space with proceeds going towards the non-profit Society to Support Contemporary Art. Galerist, a stalwart Istanbul commercial gallery, has opened two new spaces off the Bosphorus: Galerist Tepebasi and Galerist Akaretler.

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