Cité Internationale des Arts is an established art organisation, located in Marais district near Seine River, an area associated with art, culture and entertainment events in the centre of Paris. Since 1965, Cité des Arts has offered an opportunity to work and live to over 18.000 artists from all over the world. The organisation grants accommodation from 2 months to 1 year and personal workshops, which contain facilities for both working and living to 350 artists who have priorities in the fields of visual art and music.

In addition, its exhibition halls, rehearsal studios, concert and performance venues and thanks to various collaborators in Paris, Cité des Arts provides an opportunity for the artists to improve themselves and a chance for active creative production. Although Cité des Arts accepts individual applications by artists from all over the world, it also allows for private and public organisations in 60 countries to rent long term workshops at which they can host their preferred artist every year.

Turkey Season in France and 20 Year Turkey Workshop in Paris

It became possible for Turkey to hold a workshop in the field of art at Cité des Arts with 2009. Lots of countries and organisations run the risk of big budgets and long waiting lists to rent a workshop in Cité des Arts in which Germany has 20, Switzerland has 17, China has 16, Japan has 14 and Iran has 4 workshops. With the initiation of the 20-years-long project “Turkey season in France” by İKSV, which has the authorisation to work under the Ministry of Culture and Foreign Affairs, a workshop could be rented for artists from Turkey to benefit.

Turkey Workshop, which was developed by Visual Arts Coordinator of Turkey Season in France Çelenk Bafra and SIMIT Foundation chairman Banu Dicle who also made the exhibition ‘Entre-Deux’, has gained an acceptance by an agreement between İKSV and Cité des Arts since 1 July 2009. Thus, on the 4th floor of the main building of Cité des Arts, there is a sign which says “Turquie” in French on the door of the studio room 8419, which is approximately 40 m2.

The workshop which provides steady, long-term working facilities for the artists who are productive in the field of contemporary visual arts in this important art institution, contains two beds, kitchen, bathroom, mini-storage for artistic equipment and a workshop. The artists who visit Cité des Arts from Turkey will find a chance to live and produce art in the workshop, in the centre of Paris and benefit from private workshops in Cité des Arts and exhibit his/her works afterwards in Cité des Arts’ exhibition venues.

From the day it was launched, Cité des Arts Turkey Workshop has hosted a total of 27 artists. The participants of the workshop were: Ahmet Öğüt, Çınar Eslek, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Bahar Oganer and Ogan Oganer, Gökçen Cabadan in 2009-2010; Seda Hepsev, Burak Delier and Özlem Sulak in 2011; Yasemin Özcan Kaya, İnci Furni and Ferhat Özgür in 2012; İhsan Oturmak, Çağrı Saray, Ahmet Albayrak and İrem Tok in 2013; Tayfun Serttaş, Berkay Tuncay, Merve Şendil and İz Öztat in 2014; Gökçen Dilek Acay, Sümer Sayın, Şafak Çatalbaş and Serkan Taycan in 2015 and Mükerrem Tuncay, Burçak Bingöl, Deniz Aktaş and Güneş Terkol in 2016. Detailed biographies can be found at the ‘Participants’ page.

Atelier “Turquie” in the Future

The workshop is planning to clear space in the artistic program and the workshop for artists working outside the field of visual art, and for curators and critics. Among the objectives of the workshop is also to increase artistic support for the workshop, while encouraging additional support for artists to join more exhibitions and open studio days, which are currently pursued by artists with their own means.