About Me

“Nancy Atakan has been a fixture of the Istanbul arts scene for over 20 years, as an artist, teacher, art historian, and art critic. Her practice, which spans most possible mediums, investigates the relationship between orient and occident, the meaning of belonging, gender politics, and different concepts of femininity. These subjects are relevant to her personally as an American relocated to a city at the centre of the East-West axis, and her works often contain autobiographical elements. By doing this, the historical narratives and weighty issues within her work are permeated with touches of lightness as they are brought closer to the realm of the everyday.”

Nat Muller, curator and editor of Passing On, a monograph of Nancy Atakan’s work, published by Kehrer Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, Germany.


Her solo exhibitions include: 


Making a Shift,(with Maria Andersson) Galleri Box, Göteborg, Sweden (2019); Under the Radar: 5533 (with Volkan Aslan), ISCP, Brooklyn, USA (2018); Before the Past - After the Future, 6. Canakkale Biennial, Turkey (2018); Making a Shift, Nordic Art Association, Stockholm, Sweden, (2017);

A Community of Lines (solo), Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); 2016 "Sporting Chances" at Pi Artworks London; 2013 "Mirror Mirror on the Wall, 2011 “I Believe/I Don’t Believe, 2009 “How do we know we are not impostors?” and “From Here” at Pi Artworks in Istanbul; 2009, “Holding on” at Apartment Project and “Obsession” at Manzara Perspectives in Istanbul; 2007 “and” at Proje 4L Elgiz Contemporary Art Museum in Istanbul; 2003 “People Objects” at Artoteek Schiedam in Rotterdam, Holland, as a part of the Between the Waterfronts, Istanbul/Rotterdam Cultural Exchange; 2002 “Lives within lifetimes”, at International Longevity Center in New York; and 2000 “and”, Mary Ogilvie Gallery at Oxford University, UK.  

Her video work was included in the 2015 "Small Faces, Big Sizes" Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art; 2014 "Moving Images" Art International Istanbul; 2014 "40 Videos from 40 years of Video Art in Turkey"; 2012 "Keeping On Keeping on" Treibsand DVD exhibition, Switzerland; 2011-2012 “Dreams and Reality, Modern and Contemporary Women Artists from Turkey”, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul; 2009 “Research Base Social Space”, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Germany; 2009 “Istanbul Next Wave” exhibition at Akademie der Kunste, Berlin, Germany;  2009 “Off-Space Istanbul”, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, Germany; 2009 “35 Years of Video Art”, Ankara Film Festival, Ankara; 2008 “54th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen”, 2006 “LA Freewaves 10th New Media Art Festival” at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California, and the 2006 “Coding: Decoding Video Show” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Nikolaj, and Copenhagen Contemporary Art Centre, Denmark.

She has participated in international and local exhibitions such as: 2013 "Places of Memory-Fields of Vision" CAC Thessaloniki, Greece; 2013 "Me, Myself, and I", Cer Modern, Ankara; 2012 “Trading Stations”, Curve Gallery, Liverpool, UK; 2012 “Familiar”, Spas Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY; 2011 “Public Ideas”, Kiel, Germany; 2011 “Floating Volumes #3” Hamburg, Germany; 2010 “Public Volumes #1” Hamburg, Germany; 2007 at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt.; and 2005 “Cosmopolis 1: First Balkan Biennial”, Thessalonika, Greece. 

As a part of her art practice, she co-founded in 2007 the Istanbul based art initiative/project space, 5533, a project space for experimentation and developing models.