Alper Turan, 2023

  • <p>Mari Spirito, Alper Turan, New York, photo by Rania Stephan, 2024</p>

    Mari Spirito, Alper Turan, New York, photo by Rania Stephan, 2024

Building on Protocinema's Emerging Curator Series, the Enhanced Curatorial Development program provides more behind-the-scenes first hand experience and insights to participants fundraising and curatorial work. Alper Turan’s Protocinema Emerging Curator Series exhibition, A FINGER FOR AN EYE, February 25 – March 27, 2021, was presented at and in partnership with Poşe Artist Run Space, Istanbul, Turkey. Turan commissioned artists Baha Görkem Yalım, Cansu Yıldıran, Dorian Sarı, and Istanbul Queer Art Collective, under a specific directive; published text in Protocinema’s accompanying journal, PROTOZINE, moderated four InstaLive artist conversations; and earned eleven pieces of press coverage, including articles in Agos, Jungle World, Unlimited, Time Out, Sanatatak, and Kaos Q+.

As the recipient of Protocinema’s Enhanced Curatorial Development position, Alper Turan was mentored solely by Mari Spirito, who provided resources and expertise to further strengthen the participant’s holistic practice. Turan served as Protocinem’s Assistant Curator from 2021 to 2023. In addition to Turan’s work in that capacity, Protocinema also invited Turan to New York for two months (including flight and accommodations) for the valuable opportunity to expand his knowledge and network in one of the art capitals of the world. Turan invited and introduced young curators Laura Rivera-Ayala and Eva Mayhabal Davis to participate as respondents to conversations at Protocinema’s symposium Art, Ancestors, Ghosts, & the Dead at The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center in partnership with Independent Curators International, June 2023. These two responders’ unique perspectives and knowledge expanded the panels’ insights with researched questions that led to a deeper understanding of the topics at hand. Additionally, Turan was commissioned to contribute to Protodispatch, Protocinema’s monthly digital publication, in two forms. For “When Hate Becomes An Instrument Of The State: Anti LGBT+ Rally In Istanbul,” 2022, Turan wrote a text with B. Toprak Karakaya, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, and Koli Art Space (Yasemin Kalaycı & Elçin Acun). In 2024, Turan wrote “Trans Muse And Mother: ‘I’ Within ‘We’ and ‘We’ Within ‘I’' on artist/performer Kübra Uzun, a.k.a. Q-BRA, trans muse for both local and international artists, who redefines the traditional concept of a gendered muse.

Our main focus in 2023 and into 2024 was to put Alper Turan’s fundraising skills into action to raise resources, through individual contributions and foundation grants, to secure the funds that allowed Turan to live in New York for ten months to participate in the prestigious Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program (lSP). The Protocinema Enhanced Curatorial Development strengthens vital fundraising abilities to ensure curators are competitive in the global contemporary art field. Through individual attention, guidance, and shared resources and relationships, Protocinema provides crucial skills for an empowered, autonomous curatorial career. We reached Turan’s fundraising goal, and he will be able to complete this program with an exhibition co-curated with his cohort at the Whitney ISP’s new location in artist Roy Lichtenstein’s former home and studio in Greenwich Village, New York, in May 2024.

Acknowledgement and gratitude to: Bilge Öğüt/Haro Cumbusyan, Jane Lombard, ​​Adnan Yerebakan, Sanatorium, Berlin Senate's Visual Arts Research Stipend, Anonymous/Istanbul, Turkey.