Çelenk Bafra's participation is supported by SAHA.
Çelenk Bafra (Born in 1978 in Istanbul, lives and works in Istanbul) Curator, Program Manager, Writer, Editor, Producer Director of Exhibitions and Programs, Istanbul Modern
Çelenk Bafra studied Political Science followed by post-graduate studies in Art and Mediation and Cultural History in Turkey and France. She has participated in numerous curatorial residencies, research programmes, workshops and seminars in contemporary art in Turkey and abroad.
Çelenk Bafra is a curator and works as the Director of Exhibitions and Programs at Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, that hosts app. 600,000 visitors every year. She plans and oversees museum’s artistic programme and responsible for the conception and implementation of the permanent collection exhibition, two temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, two photography exhibitions, and numerous pop-up shows, events and projects on moving image, performing arts, sound, new media, architecture and design every year. Since January 2017, she also oversees the programme of Istanbul Modern Cinema that screens feature films and organizes talks and archive exhibitions on arthouse cinema; as well as the editorial line of the museum publications and Istanbul Modern Library.
As an exhibition curator, she focuses on local and global group exhibitions of contemporary art, moving image and photography. She curated following exhibitions at Istanbul Modern: Harbour, Till It’s Gone, Neighbours, Plurivocality, Modernity?, La La La Human Steps, and Uncanny Encounters. She also curates and coordinates various ongoing programs, such as
YAP: Young Architects Program, Artists’ Film International and Museums Talk series in partnership with international institutions, including MoMA in New York and the Whitechapel Gallery in London. She also curated several exhibitions, workshops, performances and video screenings in different cities in Europe and Turkey.
Before joining the Istanbul Modern team in 2011, she worked at IKSV (Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts) for ten years. Following her positions in the Istanbul Film Festival, Istanbul Jazz Festival and Istanbul Biennial as a coordinator, she was appointed as the Director of the Istanbul Biennial, artistic director of the visual arts program for the Cultural Season of Turkey in France and consultant for the Pavilion of Turkey in the Venice Biennale. In 2008, she founded an artist-in-residency program for emerging Turkish artists at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, in which she still contributes as a consultant and jury member until 2029.
Çelenk Bafra produces and presents Hariçten Sanat, a weekly talk show on global arts and creative industries at a broadcast and Internet radio in Turkey, Açık Radyo 94.9 FM; and writes or edits reviews, interviews and articles for art publications.