Harvest Time Is Here

Some projects bear fruit immediately. Others need a few seasons. ‘Living and Working in Istanbul’ is one of those that was worth waiting for. And now the time to reap the fruits has come.

Six leading modern European artists have lived, worked and produced art in Istanbul, among them Remo Salvadori (Italy), Sophie Calle (France), Victor Burgin (England), Peter Kogler (Austria), Danae Stratou (Greece) and Antoni Muntadas (Spain-U.S.). They are now being featured in a project mounted by the Visual Arts Directorate of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency.

The project is awaiting art lovers throughout the month of October. Sophie Calle’s work which combines photography and writing will be at Sanat Limanı (Art Port), October 1-31. Victor Burgin’s redesign and 3D model of Sedad Hakkı Eldem’s Oriental Coffeehouse is at the Archaeological Museum October 3-31. The gala showing of Antoni Muntadas’s Istanbul film, ‘On Translation’, is at Istanbul Modern on October 7. Finally, a work entitled ‘Istanbul’, composed of Remo Salvadori’s ‘Continuous, Infinite, Present’, Peter Kogler’s ‘carpet’, and Danae Stratou’s project, ‘Vital Space’, which embraces seven countries, is at the Imperial Arsenal (Tophane-i Amire) from October 22 through November 11.

Not content with merely producing works, these six artists, who spent weeks living in Istanbul at different periods, organized a series of workshops as well. The works produced by the Turkish artists who participated in those workshops have now become a permanent part of Turkey’s contemporary art collection. They will be on display at Sanat Limanı to the end of October.


The Living and Working in Istanbul project is an example of Turkey’s efforts since the beginning of the 1990’s to carve out a niche and have a voice in the global culture industry. Six different artists went beyond the usual hackneyed, European-oriented, Orientalist images of Istanbul and got to know the real Istanbul and, through Istanbul, Turkey. As time passes we are going to see the positive effects and results of that process. The 49 artists who took part in the workshops also underwent a process of reacquaintance with, and reassessment of, Istanbul and produced new works.