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Pilot, a 700-square metre space housed in a converted 1970s nightclub, is located on Sıraselviler Street, just across the road from the famous Cihangir tea garden. Founded by Azra Tüzünoğlu in 2011 (it was previously known as Outlet Gallery, which opened in Tophane in 2008), Pilot not only aims to support emerging Turkish and international artists, but also aspires to chart the history of contemporary art in the country.
True to its name, Pilot is a pioneering gallery because it offers an array of interior spaces including a cavernous exhibition space, a foyer and a showroom. Next door, Co-Pilot, which opened in 2013, is an additional space which hosts talks, screenings, performances, workshops and exhibitions.
Pilot represents some of the most promising artists working in Turkey and nearby regions today. There’s Halil Altındere, the artist behind one of the most talked-about works from the 2013 Istanbul Biennial; Şener Özmen, the flamboyant Kurdish artist who is enjoying his time in the spotlight with his works full of brilliant humour and biting irony; Kuwait-born artist Hamra Abbas, who has exhibited at worldwide biennales including the 2009 Istanbul Biennial; Batman-born video artist Fikret Atay, some of whose work has been purchased by Tate Modern; and Cengiz Tekin, whose neon signs caused a splash at the 2013 Contemporary Istanbul.
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