TANAS Berlin is closing its doors
Related Article: Koc Contemporary Art Museum opening in 2016
In partnership between Edition Block Berlin (physical and administrative organisation) and Vehbi Koç Foundation Istanbul (financial funding), TANAS could be initiated as a free and independent space in autumn 2007 in order to introduce the latest Turkish art to an international audience in Central Europe. According to Réné Block, his self-imposed task has been accomplished.
Over the years, TANAS was assigned with additional important roles beyond this mission as a stage for artistic pursuit as well as a focal point for further cultural issues. With an extensive educational programme the non-commercial art space established itself as a place for intense exchange between international artists of Turkish origin and curators, authors, students and globetrotters.
Since Block’s first visit there in the early 1990s, the city of Istanbul and several artists living there not only deeply impressed him, but even many years later they will no longer let him go.
A first attempt to introduce that scene, then unknown internationally, began with the İSKELE project at the ifa Galleries in Stuttgart, Bonn and Berlin in 1994. Réné Block’s time as artistic director of the fourth Istanbul Biennial (Orient/ation, 1995) intensified his relationship to the place. The exhibition İSKORPIT, in Berlin in 1998, included artists from the younger generation. Close contacts to the Vehbi Koç Foundation enabled him to plan his commitment more strategically since 2006.
For example, a twelve-volume series of monographs on contemporary Turkish artists was produced with Yapi Kredi Publications. In parallel with those publications, he curated the series Adventure İstiklal, with fifteen exhibitions at the Yapi Kredi Kazim Taskent Art Gallery in Istanbul. Together with Melih Fereli, he established criteria to build an international art collection for a museum for contemporary art that was being constructed. A first peek at the collection was provided by an exhibition titled STARTER, which opened at the ARTER Space for Art, also on İstiklal Street, in 2010.
But the culmination for their collaboration with the Koç Foundation was the founding of a platform for Turkish art in Berlin under the name TANAS in 2007. From the outset, TANAS was planned as a statement on the situation of Turkish art. Despite the twenty-two exhibitions shown there, TANAS was never an institution. TANAS has always retained the form and character of an idea that was able to take shape for a time.
In 1994 the title İskele referred to the moorings of the Bosporus ferries; it stood for start and departure. Twenty years later, İskele2 stands for arrival. TANAS takes its leave with the certainty that Turkish artists have "arrived". This is verified by the long series of TANAS Talks and Dialogues with renowned conversational partners, also to be continued during this show
Edition Block will remain at its present address until 31 December. The new address, also in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, will be announced.