Platform Otto Berchem, <i>Temporary Person Passing Through</i> [Geçici Geçen Kişi], 9. Uluslararası İstanbul Bienali
Platform Garanti Güncel Sanat Merkezi, 2005
Otto Berchem, Temporary Person Passing Through, 9th International Istanbul Biennial
Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, 2005
Bringing the Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, the Ottoman Bank Archive and Research Centre, and Garanti Gallery under the same roof, Garanti BBVA established Salt in 2011 to create a sustainable platform for cultural research and production.

Driven by its innovative and dynamic structure, Salt has served as an open source that supports knowledge production since the inception of its buildings in Istanbul in 2011. The institution develops contemporary and original content that blends the fields of art, design, and social history with its multi-layered archival and research projects focusing on Turkey and its surrounding geography.

Salt’s exhibitions and programs, its archives of over 2,000,000 digitized documents, and its printed resources are freely accessible to everyone.

Following Founding Director Vasıf Kortun (2011-2017), Meriç Öner served as Director of Research and Programs (2017-2021). Click here to view Salt’s current team.

First launched as “Platform” by Vasıf Kortun, with the support of the Ottoman Bank, Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center was later renamed as “Platform Garanti” with the merger of the Ottoman Bank and Garanti Bank. Platform Garanti hosted exhibitions, conferences, and events between 2001 and 2010 in the building that is today Salt Beyoğlu. It also hosted the “Istanbul Residency Program” while building its contemporary art library and archive. Following a break in its exhibition program in 2007, Platform Garanti formally ended its activities under this name in 2010 and transferred its resources to Salt.

Ottoman Bank Archive and Research Centre (OBARC) was established in 1997 in cooperation with the Ottoman Bank and History Foundation. Opening the Ottoman Bank’s archives to public access, OBARC operated in Salt Beyoğlu between 1997-1999 and in Salt Galata between 2000-2010. It established a specialized library as well as an extensive archive focusing on urban, social, and economic history, developed exhibitions, conferences, and publications, launched research awards in the field of banking and finance history, and founded the Ottoman Bank Museum in 2002. The institution suspended its exhibition programs in September 2009, and terminated its activities by the end of 2010, transferring its infrastructure to Salt.

Founded in 2003 with the support of Garanti Bank, Garanti Gallery (GG) was run by Münevver Eminoğlu between 2003 and 2005, and Pelin Derviş between 2005 and 2010. Until 2008, its 70-square-meter venue on Istiklal Street housed more than thirty exhibitions on design, architecture and urbanism. From 2008 onwards, the gallery focused on international exhibitions, archiving, library and publications before terminating its activities at the end of 2010 and transferring its resources to Salt.

Click here to view the Salt Panorama web project that chronicles significant moments in the formation and development of the institution.