Laura Raicovich in conversation with Mari Spirito

Accompanying Once Upon A Time Inconceivable, our 10th milestone exhibition, Protocinema presents Laura Raicovich in real life conversation with Mari Spirito on art institutions & Raicovich's new book Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest. The talk will be in English. 

Saturday, September 25,
Conversation starts at 12:30,
Protocinema at Beykoz Kundura, Istanbul 
(Beykoz Kundura, Yeni Kundura Binası
Yalıköy, Süreyya İlmen Cd. No:1, 34820 Beykoz, İstanbul)
Vans depart from The Artisan Hotel, Gümüşsuyu at  11:00 am
Sign up for vans by 6:00 pm Friday September 24, here

Laura Raicovich’s Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

On the occasion of Protocinema’s 10. Year milestone exhibition, Once Upon A Time Inconceivable, Raicovich will launch her new publication Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest (Verso, 2021). This book delves into the growing tension between public expectations and the mandate, role, and structural conditions of Art Museums in the United States and further afield. It discusses well-known case studies such as the resignation of Warren Kanders from the board of the Whitney Museum on account of investments in the munitions industry and tear-gas, as well as protest efforts to address labour politics at museums in the US and internationally.

Culture Strike is also written on the basis of close personal experience. As Director of the Queens Museum in New York, Raicovich worked to bring her renowned social vision for art institutions that serve broad and transformative public interests. In 2018 she resigned, on account of a dispute with the Museum board and city officials in relation to the public accountability of the institution following the election of Donald Trump.

In addition to sharing a list of books that share Raicovich’s research and thinking, this event will launch the publication with conversation on the current impasses that institutions face and pose, as well as the possible role that they can serve in times of social transformation. This book launch tour occurs in partnership with Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam).

Laura Raicovich is dedicated to art and artistic production that relies on complexity, poetics, and care to create a more engaged and equitable civic realm. Her latest book, Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest (Verso 2021) was published in June. She most recently served as interim director of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, a museum devoted to queer art and artists and is the recipient of both the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship and the inaugural Emily H. Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators at Hyperallergic. 

Until early 2018, she served as President and Executive Director of the Queens Museum where she oversaw an inviting and vital commons for art, ideas, and engagement. That same year, she co-curated Mel Chin: All Over the Place (with Manon Slome and No Longer Empty), the first major presentation in New York City of artist Mel Chin in more than 20 years, which occupied the entire Queens Museum and multiple public sites in the city. 

Once Upon A Time Inconceivable

Protocinema is happy to announce Once Upon a Time Inconceivable, a group exhibition on the occasion of our ten year milestone, cross-examining the pair of perception and realization, and their impairments in relation to time and space, bringing together works by Abbas Akhavan, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Banu Cennetoğlu, Ceal Floyer, Gülşah Mursaloğlu, Zeyno Pekünlü, Paul Pfeiffer, Amie Siegel, and Mario Garcia Torres. The exhibition and public programs will take place at and with the kind collaboration of Beykoz Kundura, a cultural hub formerly a factory site of various mass-manufactures from the Ottoman Era to the present day, situated on the north-east coast of the Bosphorus, Istanbul.

Coming at a crucial moment of crisis and loss that urges us to rethink all establishments and reevaluate personal, local and global relationships, Once Upon a Time Inconceivable invites us to reassess curious workings of perception and realization. Through the artworks bending perceived temporalities and conceived spatialities, this exhibition sheds light on the process of realization itself. Focusing on the dynamics of perception and realization matters as it turns our unevenly shared experience of the past into fuel for further changes in understanding that may (or may not) translate into changes in action.

Once Upon a Time Inconceivable will be accompanied by a new edition of ProtoZine with a commissioned text by Lara Fresko Madra, Alper Turan, and Mari Spirito. The exhibition will then be followed by a book project with additional commissioned texts by Laura Raicovich and Mari Spirito (in conversation with artists), to be launched in early 2022, and then distributed internationally. 

Protocinema is a cross-cultural, mission-driven art organization, commissioning and presenting site-aware art in Istanbul, New York, and elsewhere. We produce context-specific projects of the highest artistic quality that are accessible to everyone. Protocinema evokes empathy towards an understanding of difference, across regions through exhibitions, educational public programming, and mentorship. Protocinema maintains long-term relationships with artists nurturing sustained growth. Founded by Mari Spirito in 2011, Protocinema is a registered 501(c)3, free of 'brick and mortar', sites vary to respond both to global concerns and changing conditions on the ground. 

About Beykoz Kundura: As one of the important historical and cultural values of Turkey with its history dating back more than two hundred years, Beykoz Kundura operates as a professional venue rental entity and is a meeting point where creative ideas are produced in harmony with today’s dynamics at a glorious spot across the Bosporus, since 2005. Kundura Cinema in 2018 marked the first stage in the redevelopment of Kundura as a multi-purpose arts venue offers an alternative perspective in respect of films. In 2019, the Boiler Room project also expanded to include Kundura Stage, aiming to be one of the leading venues of Istanbul, showcasing international theatre, music and dance events.

Press Inquiries: 

Protocinema: Alper Turan,, +49 17670518587, +90 5068706808; Mari Spirito, +1917 660 7332

Beykoz Kundura: Uğur Yüksel, 


Protocinema is supported by FfAI - The Foundation for Arts Initiatives; The Cowles Charitable Trust, New Jersey; 601 Artspace, New York, The Artisan Hotel, İstanbul, Ek Biç Ye İç, İstanbul; Akadermi Çevre, İstanbul; Consulate of Mexico in Istanbul for Mario García Torres’; EVA International - Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art for Zeyno Pekünlü

With the Kind Collaboration of Beykoz Kundura

Book launch tour in partnership with Kunstinstituut Melly