Independent Curators International (ICI) has named Merve Elveren, an Istanbul-based curator, as the recipient of the 2018 Gerrit Lansing Independent Vision Curatorial Award, which includes a $3,000 stipend to be put toward a new project as well as “support in developing independent practice and research through ICI,” according to a release. The award was established in 2010, and it is given every two years to emerging international curators.
Some of Elveren’s curatorial credits include the co-production of Köken Ergun’s film Ashura (2013) and Volkan Aslan’s solo exhibition “Shoot Me! Don’t turn me over!” (2018). From 2011 to 2018 she was part of the founding team of research and programs at SALT, an institution in Turkey that organizes exhibitions and publications.
Most recently, she established a collective of women art professionals to curate exhibitions and stage public events for the benefit of the Women’s Library and Information Centre Foundation in Istanbul. According to a release, “the collective aims to increase the visibility and resources of the first and only library dedicated to women’s histories in Turkey.”
Wassan Al-Khudhairi, chief curator of the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, selected Elveren from a group of nine curators. The other finalists included Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu, Violeta Horcasitas, Fang-Tze Hsu, Aram Moshayedi, Luiza Proença, Vipash Purichanont, Yasmeen Siddiqui, and Nicole Smyth-Johnson.
Al-Khudhairi said in a statement, “Merve Elveren’s work has shown a dedication to the artists living and working in Turkey today. Her work at SALT helped to define new models for contemporary art in the country, through a thoughtful, research-based methodology. Her practice brings feminists, anti-militarists, LGBTQI activists and human rights defenders into the art historical narrative.”