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The Empire Project

Defterdar Yokuşu No 35, Cihangir, Istanbul

Tues–Sat 11.30am–6pm; Mondays by appointment

The Empire Project was founded in 2011 by Kerimcan Güleryüz (the man who helped set up Nişantaşı’s x-ist and the now-closed Shooting Gallery in Galata). The sleek gallery aims to showcase contemporary art from regions with historical links with Istanbul and is not afraid to shock or tickle. Geographically, this includes most of the Mediterranean region, the Arabian Peninsula, Eastern Europe, Anatolia, the Black Sea region and Central Asia. Kerimcan, the son of renowned painter Mehmet Güleryüz, aims to represent modern art which questions Turkey’s past. The result is a series of bold solo and conceptual group shows.

The Empire Project’s roster includes a mixture of established and emerging artists from Turkey and beyond. There’s Mehmet Güleryüz; British-Iraqi artist Athier Mousawi who explores the Iraqi diaspora in much of his work; Berlin-based artist Esra Rotthoff known for her bright, pop-art style photographs; established Turkish artists such as Banu Birecikligil and SENA; and emerging Turkish talents such as C.M. Kösemen, photographer Cemil Batur Gökçeer and Can Pekdemir, who is concerned with the deformation of the human body in much of his work.

The Empire Project started life in a 19th-century building on Sıraserviler Caddesi, the street which links Taksim to Cihangir, and moved to Cihangir proper in 2015.


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