Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Pelin Tan is a sociologist and an art historian. She was a researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul (2001-2010). Tan is a research fellow in Spring 2011 at the ACT (Art, Culture, and Technology) program of the Department of Architecture – School of Architecture and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously she was a guest professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Architecture and Urban Research MA Program, Nuremberg (2008); and a guest lecturer at the History of Art Departments at the Technical University, Berlin (2006–2007) and Trier University, Trier (2004). Tan is currently working on the publication Unconditional Hospitality and Architecture (forthcoming) and co-edited (with Sezgin Boynik) the publication Güncel Sanatta Kamusal Alan Tartışmaları [Public Space Discussion in Contemporary Art] (2007). She is also an editor of Muhtelif contemporary art magazine, and has contributed to numerous publications including: Becoming Istanbul, An Encyclopedia (2008); When Things Cast No Shadow (catalog, 5th Berlin Biennale) (2008); Megastructure Reloaded (2008); and Contemporary Art In Turkey: 1986–2006 (2007). She is a member of the curatioral advisory board of DEPO Istanbul. Tan curated several research-based projects and exhibitions that are consisting of issues in contemporary art: urban localities and social conflict, alternative education formats, institutional criticism, social surplus value and dissemination. For 2011, Tan is working on a research project of artist run-spaces in Asia and labor; editing a special issue on social surplus, freelance teaching and curating Knut Asdam Solo show (June, DEPO). Pelin Tan is based in Istanbul, works trans-locally.
Normalization or... any Alternative?
22.01.2011 / Giorgi Leonidze State Literature Museum 
In last ten years, the city of Istanbul is facing a rapid transformation of urban spaces by state-led, municipality initiations and global private investments. Moreover, art institutions and private museums are expanding each year; and independent spaces loose their spaces. Still, there are not enough independent spaces, institutions for independent artists, groups and curators among this expansion in such a huge city. 
What is the global and local affects of international Istanbul biennial on the art spaces in the city? Who benefits in such intense of institutionalism? What was the crap of “European Cultural Capital Project of Istanbul” in 2010? 
As an agency, what does an art institution/space means in urban space? 
The presentation was about the last ten years developments in the cultural field of Istanbul in relation to urban transformation and changes. The presentations was a projection and raised questions for the city of Tbilisi: Does a city need a biennial? What should be the cultural policy of the municipality? What should be the future of independent spaces of artist initiations? Would we choose to go into normalization of art and culture led by new institutions or is there any alternative?
Residency stay of Pelin Tan was supported by: Open Society Institute, Arts and Culture Network Program.