An exceptional leading voice in contemporary art with international experience including directing art institutions in the UK (Liverpool Biennial; The Roberts Institute of Art), curating mid to large-scale, not-for-profit exhibitions (fig-2 50 exhibitions 50 weeks, 2015, ICA), festivals (Art Night 2017, London), artistically and curatorially leading and managing biennials (11th Liverpool Biennial, UK; 10th Gwangju Biennial, South Korea), and commissioning artists in the public realm (Nathan Coley, Liverpool, 2020; Do Ho Suh, London, 2018-20). Furthermore, Üstek has been recognised as an influential thinker in the sector, through the projects she curated, books and monographs she published, as well as the guest writing she had done for art magazines, exhibition catalogs, academic publications (Curating Companion, Blackwell, 2020), ands organising seminars (Miart Talks, 2018, Milan) and training workshops (Art Fund Curatorial Workshops, 2015) for peers and colleagues.

Üstek is currently working on a new model for art institutions, to be published as a book in 2023, commissioning artworks for the Nine Elms area in London, curating international projects and lecturing at international conferences and events. She is founding co-director of FRANK Fair Artist Pay, with artists Anne Hardy and Lindsay Seers.

Over the last 10 years, Üstek has taken on multiple jury roles for national art prizes (Jindrich Chalupecky Award 2022 – 2024; Turner Prize 2020; Celeste Prize 2017), international representations (Scotland and Netherlands in Venice, 2022), and acted as an external member of the acquisitions committee for the Arts Council Collection (2018-2020), whilst nominating artists for prestigious projects and awards (The Fourth Plinth; Jarman Film Award). Alongside leading international projects, she holds governance roles in arts organizations: in the UK (Chair, New Contemporaries,), Netherlands (advisory board, Jan van Eyck Academie), and Germany (advisory board, Urbane Kuenste Ruhr).

She acts as editorial advisor and contributing editor to Extra Extra Magazine, a member of the International Association of Art Critics AICA UKICI, IKT and founding member of the Association of Women in the Arts (AWITA).

She is listed in the celebratory Apollo 40 under 40 Thinkers section in 2018; included in Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 London’s most influential people in 2018 and 2017; Artlyst Power 100 list 2021, 2019, 2018, and 2017; Artsy The Top 20 Most Influential Young Curators in Europe and nominated for ICI Gerrit Lansing Independent Curatorial Vision Award in 2016.

In 2008 Ustek received her M.A. at the Contemporary Art Theory Department at Goldsmiths College London, after completing her BA in Mathematics at Bogazici University, Istanbul. Additionally, where she also acquired a degree from the Film Studies.

See all curatorial and editorial projects listed here.

Selected Online Interviews & Conversations & Podcasts:
Brainard Carey Conversation / Lonely Arts Club Podcast / IlikeNetworking Podcast / Wisefool Podcast / Free School of Lecture /
Selected Interviews in Press:
Apollo Magazine 40 Under 40 Europe, 2018
AWITA C-Suites: Rethinking Biennials, Defne Ayas with Fatos Ustek
The Art Newspaper: From Logician Kurt Godel to Turkish Literature
Artnet: Biennials 2021 Car Crash
Riposte Magazine: The Making of a Pioneer
Art is Alive: Interview 
Fifth Sense: Making Exhibitions
I-D Magazine: How To Curate: A Guide by Fatos Ustek
Dispatch Feminist Moving Image Magazine: Interview with Fatos Ustek