Garanti Bank’s project SALT opens a branch in Ankara
After opening two branches in Istanbul in 2011 (SALT Beyoglu & SALT Galata), Garanti Bank has opened another branch in Ankara called „SALT Ulus“ in early April 2013. When it comes to Turkey’s art scene during the last years, Ankara has been very much in the shadow of Istanbul, where most of the contemporary cultural activity is happening. SALT, which has grown to be a major initiator of large scale exhibitions, projects and cultural events in Istanbul within the last years, is trying to give new impulses in the field of contemporary art and culture and related research to Ankara as Turkey’s capital.
At SALT’s new location in Ankara, two spaces are reserved for the use of young researchers for periods of four months at a time. While SALT Research at SALT Galata exists as the main open platform for such investigation, selected publications and information from SALT Research are available at SALT Ulus, with many more materials accessible on request
For the begginning phase of the project, the program at SALT Ulus involves already composed projects that have taken place in İstanbul, but include Ankara in their scope. However, on the long term SALT plans to prioritize locally developed programmes and then reversing the current trend these projects may then travel on to İstanbul.
The building of SALT Ulus is the annex of the former Ottoman Bank on Atatürk Bulvarı across one of the Republic’s main landscape projects Gençlik Parkı. Designed by Guilo Mongeri and constructed in 1926, the main building is currently used as Garanti Bank. The annex housing SALT Ulus was a later addition, also commissioned to Mongeri, to provide lodging for traveling bank inspectors. Unused since 2002, this building was repurposed after the establishment of SALT, and opened as SALT Ulus.
SALT Ulus officially opened on 3 April 2013 with its first exhibition named „It was a time of conversation,“ an archive and research project, that calls for a reevaluation of three exhibitions that took place in the early ‘90s in Turkey – Number Fifty/Memory/Recollection II (1993, İstanbul); Globalization-State, Misery, Violence (1995, İstanbul) and GAR [Railway Station] (1995, Ankara) – based on original documents from the period.
The exhibition, first opened in the Open Archive at SALT Galata in February 2012, will be accompanied by parallel programs organized at SALT Ulus. A link to the original project can be found here.