Vasif Kortun is a curator, writer and teacher whose curatorial practice centres on contemporary visual art, its institutions and spatial practices.
Among Kortun’s curatorial projects are the UAE Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale (2011); 6th Taipei Biennial (with ManRay Hsu) (2008); Turkish Pavilion, 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); 9th Istanbul Biennial (with Charles Esche) (2005); Turkish Pavilion, São Paulo Biennial (1994, 1998) and 3rd Istanbul Biennial (1992).
Kortun has contributed to several books, including Signs Taken in Wonder: Searching for Contemporary Art about Istanbul (Hatje Cantz, 2013), How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in the Global Age (Walker Art Center, 2003) and Fresh Cream: Contemporary Art in Culture (Phaidon Press, 2000).
He has also published two volumes of collected writings, 20 (2018) and 10 (2013); Park: Bir İhtimal [Hatırlama] (SALT, 2017); and Szene Türkei: Abseits, aber Tor (Koenig, 2004). He was one of three editors of VOTI: Union of the Imaginary (2016) and serves on the editorial board of the magazine Afterfall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry.
He has received numerous awards, including the 9th Annual Award for Curatorial Excellence, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (2005). He has also been listed on the ArtReview Power 100 (2004, 2006, 2011–2014).
Kortun is the chairman of the board of directors of the Foundation for Arts Initiatives, Paris, and serves as a board member at SALT and a trustee on the boards of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp; Mophradat, Brussels; and Dokufest Film Festival, Prizren, Kosovo.
He has been a visiting professor in many institutions, including NABA, Milan (2008–2011, 2014); Istanbul Bilgi University (2009-2012); Sommerakademie, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2009); and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul (2004–2005).
Kortun holds a BA and MA from New York University (1980 and 1983, respectively).
He was born in 1958 in Istanbul, where he continues to live and work.