T H E P I L L ® was founded in 2016 by Suela J. Cennet in the historical peninsula of Istanbul by the Golden Horn to operate both as a global platform and a mobile vessel for trans-local and trans-disciplinary contemporary art. By creating new process-sensitive infrastructures for artistic collaboration, experimentation and critical dialogue anchored in the region, the gallery strives to foster cosmopolitanism and to amplify local voices beyond the dialectic of center and periphery.
Located at the ground floor of an ancient generator factory, the exhibition space lends itself to constant architectural transformation, evolving together with both solo and curated artistic propositions. Initially imagined as a mobile naval project space by its founder, the gallery’s programming is strongly inspired by the history and ideas of utopia in modernism ranging from scales of architecture to those of displacement and dispossession, through molecular shifts at the level of the bodies and new affective articulations as reflected in contemporary artistic production. Fully embracing the meanings encapsulated within the gallery’s name, in Suela J. Cennet’s words, “the pill evokes both the relationship to truth and fiction as in The Matrix, as well as the foundational discovery of female contraception which marked a definitive anthropological break leading up to contemporary issues surrounding the self-engineered body. Both carry an emancipation whose validity we continue to question today”.
Since its opening, the gallery has established itself as one of the most influential players in the region by anchoring its artists within the public and private collections’ landscape worldwide. The gallery’s exhibitions and curated fair participations have been critically acclaimed with awards and reviews in both local and international publications. In addition to its gallery operations, T H E P I L L ® regularly provides its artists and guests a residency opportunity within their research framework in Istanbul.
2022 was marked by the publication of New Art Scales by JBE Books, revisiting the gallery’s seven years of programming with contributions by Ingrid Luquet-Gad, Suela J. Cennet alongside represented and exhibited artists. Concurrently with the book launch, T H E P I L L ® produced two off-site solo exhibitions in Paris, announcing a new chapter in the gallery’s trajectory with the upcoming opening of its Parisian offices and the development of itinerant programs across Europe and Latin America.