Vasif Kortun (b.1958) is the founding director of Platform Garanti [2001-] a non-profit contemporary art institution with an extensive library, documentation center, artist archives, exhibition space and an international residency program for artists, critics and curators. Platform Garanti was the recipient of the 50th Anniversary Special Grant of the European Cultural Foundation, and has participated in 2004 in Institution2, at Kiasma, Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art a project devoted to the best 12 institutions in Europe. Platform has recently participated in the Site Santa Fe Biennial.
Kortun was also the planner and founding director of Proje4L, Istanbul Museum of Contemporary Art between 2001-2003, where he curated seminal exhibitions of young artists from Turkey. Prior to his return to Turkey, Kortun was the first director of the Museum of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College between 1994 and 1997. At the Center, he organized a number of projects as well as the first museum exhibitions of artists like Kara Walker, Nedko Solakov and Boris Mikhailov.
Vasif Kortun was the chief curator of the 1992 Istanbul Biennial. He was the co-curator in 2005. Kortun was also one of the curators of the 24th Sao Paolo Biennial in 1998, Tirana Biennial, and 2nd Ceramics Biennial in Albisola . He has curated the Turkish pavilions for 1994 and 1998 Sao Paolo Biennials and 2007 Venice Biennials. He was on the juries of the 5th Gwangju and the 48th Venice Biennials, and an advisor for the 1st Johannesburg Biennial. Kortun has been an advisor for many museums including the Walker Art Center; Museum of Modern Art, New York, VanAbbe Museum, Eindhoven; The Israel Museum amongst others.
He has curated and co-curated exhibitions at Apex Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Rome, IFA, Berlin & Stuttgart, Saitama Museum of Modern Art, De Appel, Amsterdam and many other places. His texts have appeared in many different books, magazines and exhibition catalogs. Jahresring 51: Szene Turkei: Abseits aber Tor, a book on Turkey co-authored with Erden Kosova was published in 2004.
Kortun received the 9th annual Award for Curatorial Excellence given by the Center for Curatorial Studies in 2006.