Oda Projesi revitalizes urban spaces in Istanbul to highlight the relationship between artists, institutions, and the broader local community.

Oda Projesi

The founding members of the Turkish collective Oda Projesi, artists Özge Açikkol, Günes Savas, and Seçil Yersel, don’t operate in a traditional studio or gallery setting. Instead, their work centers on activating and actualizing communal spaces. Oda Projesi, which translates to “Room Project” in Turkish, literalizes urban space into a “hybrid language,” describing how we shape, and are shaped by, our surroundings. In 2000, the female-run collective turned their apartment in Galata, an increasingly gentrified neighborhood in Istanbul, into a multi-purpose non-profit public space. The apartment quickly became a gathering place for other artists, architects, musicians, scholars and--most importantly--for their neighbors. The group directly engages their local community to collaboratively “animate” the social dynamics inherent in urban spaces, as evidenced by their project working with local children in 2000, A Day in the Room. Members of Oda Projesi assisted the children in creating paintings in the style of well-known contemporary Turkish artist Komet, which were then paraded through the city, exhibited and finally sold to fund the young artists’ educations. Described as relational, communalist and situationist, Oda Projesi’s work draws attention to the social implications of space.

Founded in 2000 in Istanbul, Turkey