The non-profit off-space was founded by Nancy Atakan and Volkan Aslan in 2008. Marcus Graf, a local curator has also been working with us but took a year's leave to finish his doctoral thesis. Four to five university students work with us on a voluntary basis. There are no employees. Nancy Atakan owns the space and provides heat, electricity, internet access, water, and basic maintenance of the space. There are no other sources of funding. A few of our projects include working with 3 international groups in our space, had a joint project with Bilgi University, sponsored two solo exhibitions, held 3 curated shows, conducted 2 research projects, and opened our space during the 10th International Istanbul Biennial for a curatorial workshop.
For the space, we envisioned a library with an archive of artists, curators, and art initiative portfolios, a corridor to show video artworks, and a store window to be used as an exhibition space. One of our main aims was to host international projects and interactive events involving artist talks, workshops and round table discussions. In addition, we hoped to share our work with our neighbors and give art management, art history, public relations, and visual art students an opportunity to work with professionals on all levels of project planning and execution.
As a part of the 10th International Istanbul Biennial the project, Big Family Business, conducted discussions, artist presentations, exhibitions, and used the space as a meeting spot for curators and artists. Several local off-spaces have shown in our space including MASA, Atilkkunst, and NOMAD. The video festival organization, KURYE, has moved their archives of over a 1000 artists video works to 5533. Another student/professional project was “Manifatura@5533” involving interconnection of art, design and craft. Students of art management, performing arts, and design at Istanbul Bilgi University worked with students from Georgia and Armenia.the German Kunstgymnastik group conducted a workshop for art-mediation/art-education. the Düsseldorf based nüans group joined with the Istanbul based Alti Aylik Group for the project "On Produceabilty" that included artists from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Stockholm, London, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Los Angeles, Paris, and Istanbul. Other artists and curators have shown in the space. 5533 participated in Istanbul Off-Space Berlin at Kunstraum Keruzberg-Bethanien It will be an alternative space with an exhibition for the 11th Istanbul biennial. For more details please go to our blogspot.