SALT (institution)

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This article is about SALT, a cultural institution in Istanbul. For the SALT treaty, see Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.
Established 2011
Founded by Garanti Bank
Location SALT Beyoğlu
Istiklal Cd. No:136
Beyoğlu, Istanbul

SALT Galata
Bankalar Cd. No:11
Karaköy, Istanbul

SALT was founded in Istanbul in April 2011 as a not-for-profit cultural institution. SALT conducts interdisciplinary research projects, and hosts public programs such as exhibitions, talks, film screenings, lectures, performances, and workshops.

SALT is a member of L’Internationale—a confederation of European museums which aims towards a shared use of collections and archives. Far from championing a hierarchical and centralized internationalism, L’Internationale consists of a constellation of cultural agents that are locally rooted and globally connected. It proposes a space for art within a non-hierarchical and decentralised internationalism, based on the values of difference and horizontal exchange.


SALT was founded with the support of Garanti Bank after the restructuring of Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Center, and Garanti Gallery as a single, autonomous institution. SALT fosters an innovative and experimental intellectual climate in order to spark learning and discussions around critical and timely cultural matters.


SALT programs are run with an integrated approach at SALT Beyoğlu and SALT Galata in Istanbul, and at SALT Ulus in Ankara. The buildings of SALT Beyoğlu and SALT Galata have been re-purposed from their former use by Mimarlar Tasarım/Han Tümertekin.

SALT Beyoğlu opened on April 9, 2011, with an exhibition area of 1130 m2, spaces for social interaction, and a garden on the fourth floor. The history of the building on İstiklal Avenue dates back to 1850s-1860s. During that period it was known as “Siniossoglou Apartment,” with the ground floor hosting various commercial activities, while the upper floors were for residential use. When the population of Beyoğlu dropped in the 1950s, residential activity in the building came to an end, and commercial, political, and cultural programs took over.

SALT Galata opened on November 22, 2011, on Bankalar Caddesi. The building was originally designed as the headquarters of the Ottoman Bank by Aléxandre Vallaury. Today, it hosts SALT Research (a comprehensive library with substantial archival holdings) and the Ottoman Bank Museum, as well as spaces for workshops, exhibitions, and conferences.

SALT Ulus, which opened on April 3, 2013, is an annex to the former Ottoman Bank facing Gençlik Park, which is a renowned landscape project of the Republican era. The main building, now a branch of Garanti Bank, was designed by Istanbul-based Levantine architect Giulio Mongeri, and dates back to 1926.

SALT Research[edit]

The library and archival collections of SALT Research focus on art, architecture, urbanism, and social and economic histories. Its physical and digital holdings are available for public use.

SALT Research Funds[edit]

SALT Research Funds were established by SALT in 2013 with the objective of supporting experimental thinking, research, and analysis of societal changes and developments from multiple critical vantage points. Since then, SALT has granted an annual sum of 60,000 TL to six projects investigating built environment, modernity, memory politics, and forgotten histories.

SALT EPUB Platform[edit]

SALT e-publications can be read in PDF or EPUB formats, transferred to mobile devices, or printed if desired.


SALT has organized the following exhibitions since April 2011:

  • Laboratory (April 9-June 1, 2011; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • "I am not a studio artist" (April 9-August 7, 2011;SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Modern Essays 1: Across the Slope (June 16-October 1, 2011; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Becoming Istanbul (September 13-December 31, 2011; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Modern Essays 2: Istory (November 1-December 31, 2011; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Foto Galatasaray (November 22, 2011-January 22, 2012; SALT Galata)
  • Modern Essays 3: Modernity Unveiled/Interweaving Histories (November 22, 2011-January 22, 2012; SALT Galata)
  • Scramble for the Past: A Story of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire, 1753-1914 (November 22, 2011-March 11, 2012; SALT Galata)
  • İstanbul Eindhoven-SALTVanAbbe: Post ‘89 (January 27-April 6, 2012; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • It was a time of conversation (February 8-April 22, 2012; SALT Galata)
  • I decided not to save the world (March 20-May 20, 2012; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Translated By (April 6-July 8, 2012; SALT Galata)
  • Modern Essays 4: SALON (April 13-June 24, 2012; SALT Galata)
  • İstanbul Eindhoven-SALTVanAbbe: 68-89 (April 20-August 26, 2012; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Modern Essays 5: Graft (May 25-August 26, 2012; SALT Galata)
  • In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art (May 30-August 26, 2012; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • İstanbul Eindhoven-SALTVanAbbe: Modern Times (September 21-December 30, 2012; SALT Galata)
  • Hassan Khan (September 21, 2012-January 6, 2013; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • The Performance of Modernity: ATATÜRK KÜLTÜR MERKEZİ, 1946-1977 (September 21, 2012-January 6, 2013; SALT Galata)
  • 1+8 (January 24-April 14, 2013; SALT Galata)
  • "Scared of Murals" (January 31-April 21, 2013; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Modern Turkey’s Discovery of the Ottoman Heritage: The Ali Saim Ülgen Archive (February 8-April 7, 2013; SALT Galata)
  • It was a time of conversation (April 3-June 2, 2013; SALT Ulus)
  • subREAL (May 8-August 11, 2013; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • 太平天國/Taiping Tianguo, A History of Possible Encounters (May 8-August 11, 2013; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Trespassing Modernities (May 8-August 11, 2013; SALT Galata)
  • Modern Turkey’s Discovery of the Ottoman Heritage: The Ali Saim Ülgen Archive (June 12-September 14, 2013; SALT Ulus)
  • One, No One and One Hundred Thousand (September 10-December 26, 2013; SALT Galata)
  • A Promised Exhibition (September 10, 2013-January 5, 2014; SALT Beyoğlu ve SALT Galata)
  • Modern Essays 5: Graft (September 26-November 30 2013; SALT Ulus)
  • Crowds and Power (December 5, 2013-March 16, 2014; SALT Ulus)
  • Dismantling the Archive: Representation, Identity, Memory in an Ottoman Family (January 21-March 23, 2014; SALT Galata)
  • Works From The Collection of L’Internationale (February 27-April 6, 2014; SALT Ulus)
  • MC⁹ (March 7-May 25, 2014; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • GLOBAL TOOLS 1973-1975: Towards an Ecology of Design (March 11-April 11, 2014; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • You don’t go slumming (March 22-May 18, 2014; SALT Galata)
  • Rabih Mroué (April 2-July 14, 2014; SALT Beyoğlu-SALT Galata)
  • Disobedience Archive (The Park) (April 22-June 15, 2014; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • A Promised Exhibition (April 22-June 21 2014; SALT Ulus)
  • The Clock (May 9-25, 2014; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • SUMMER HOUSES: Claiming the Coast (September 5-November 16, 2014; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Into the Country (September 11-November 1, 2014; SALT Ulus)
  • From England, With Love, İsmail Saray (September 13-November 2, 2014; SALT Galata)
  • Rainbow in the Dark (November 14, 2014-January 18, 2015; SALT Galata)
  • From England, With Love, İsmail Saray (November 18, 2014-January 17, 2015; SALT Ulus)
  • Akram Zaatari (December 2, 2014-February 15, 2015; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Capri Trend (December 20, 2014-January 25, 2015; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Dinamo Mesken (January 27-March 14, 2015; SALT Ulus)
  • End of Dreams (February 6-March 29, 2015; SALT Galata)
  • A Century of Centuries (March 10-May 24, 2015; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Esra Ersen - Antonio Cosentino (April 14-June 6, 2015; SALT Ulus)
  • Every inclusion is an exclusion of other possibilities [Part I] (April 21-May 17, 2015; SALT Beyoğlu, Forum)
  • They (April 28-June 28, 2015; SALT Galata)
  • Every inclusion is an exclusion of other possibilities [Part II] (June 9-August 2, 2015; SALT Beyoğlu)
  • Lost Shadows (August 11-September 27, 2015; SALT Beyoğlu, Forum)
  • How did we get here (September 3-November 29, 2015; SALT Beyoğlu & SALT Galata)
  • A Century of Centuries (September 15-November 14, 2015; SALT Ulus)
  • Art of Disagreement (November 28-December 5, 2015; SALT Ulus)
  • Painter Sabiha Rüştü Bozcalı (December 22, 2015-February 28, 2016; SALT Galata)
  • Apricots from Damascus (December 23, 2015-February 21, 2016; SALT Galata)
  • How did we get here (January 7-March 12, 2016; SALT Ulus)