Oda Projesi: Picnic, Galata Istanbul, Juni 2004
Oda Projesi means “space” or “room project” and designates three ground-floor rooms on a small courtyard square in Istanbul, as well as three female artists, Özge Aç¦kkol, Günes Savas and Seçil Yersel. But Oda Projesi also denotes a form of cultural practice that is utilised by the artists at this place, a practice approaching the notion of jointly produced culture in an open-minded way, willing to establish connections. Opening up a space in which exhibitions take place – something also done in the spaces of Oda Projesi – may resemble, as a first step, the well-known model of self-organised spaces that are linked to a long genealogy of similar projects. In this case, the insertion of a cultural space in Istanbul’s urban space does not lead to a parallelity between the field of art and daily life in the street, but to a mutual influence characterised by the approach of the artists as well as by the inhabitants.
This negotiation should not be a quasi natural given, however. A concept that deals with a reflected concept of art, that is collectivity, artistic methods and the concept of the public, and at the same time encounters an emancipated and mediatised public, inevitably takes place at an interface of contemporary art where it depends on the participants’ capacity to invent themselves.