“Special Days and Weeks No.1,” held at 5533, Istanbul, 2009. Courtesy 5533
5533 is an independent, nonprofit contemporary art space in Istanbul that presents and produces exhibitions, research, and debates. Emphasizing dialogue, networking, and interaction, it aims to foster contemporary art projects based on intellectual and critical reflection.
In 2008, artists Nancy Atakan and Volkan Aslan, together with curator Marcus Graf, founded this off-space inside an old store in the Istanbul Trader’s Association (IMÇ) shopping center. Since its founding, 5533 has established and maintained an archival library of portfolios of local artists, curators, and institutions; today, it also features a new media and sound art section, as well as a storefront window for exhibitions. 5533 aims to create an interactive space to review art practice and theory through artists’ talks, studio presentations, roundtable discussions, and readings. In addition, it presents video screenings, performances, and exhibitions for spectators from IMÇ shop workers and the local art community. It aims to establish, within the Istanbul art context, a “contact zone” to bring together people from different disciplines, occupations, and backgrounds.
In December 2010, Nazlı Gürlek joined Volkan Aslan and Nancy Atakan as an advisor at 5533, which then entered a period of renovation. Eventually, the team decided to continue its activities under two main strands from May 2011 onward.