Other women, other rooms

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The Shanty of Misfit Toys, Art Shanty Projects, 2007.

Karen & Joe

Interior, shed by Danny Saathoff, 2014

Over the years, we’ve figured out a few things in our collaborative. One big discovery is that we tend to do better in tight spaces. We like small hubs of enclosed activity where we invite people in to experience our version of a dynamic, interactive space.  We’ve also had to be adaptable because, as artists, we are asked to create activities, installations and art projects in all sorts of places. For example, a vast & windy spot by the Mississippi River, a forgotten parking lot near a suburban lake, by a park pavilion, in a school gym, inside a college lecture hall.

But we prefer small quiet spaces where just a few folks come in for story time, a sewing project, a chat and some pie.  One popular theory between the two of us is that we were cellmates in a past life, scheming wild projects and simple beautiful spaces.

So when we discover other artists half a world away working together in a similar fashion, we are inspired and grateful that we found them:

Oda Projesi is an artist collaborative based in Istanbul, Turkey, and initiated by three women artists: Özge Acıkkol, Günes Savas and Secil Yersel. Oda Projesi means “Room Project” and employs thinking of the different usages of the “room” in order to find new ways to combine the daily life and art practices with the purpose of bridging relations between artists, non-artists, artist-run-groups, institutions and the communities in the local neighborhood. The group turned their collaboration into an art project in 2000 after a three years period of renting an apartment as a studio in the neighbourhood of Galata, a historical urban district in Istanbul with considerable mixture of social classes and an ongoing process of gentrification. The new apartment, also located in Galata, was turned into a multi-purpose non-profit public space. It quickly became a gathering place for other artists, architects, sociologists, musicians, but mainly for the neighbours. Characteristic of the work of Oda Projesi is their direct contact with the local community surrounding them. Since their first project…the group has extended invitations for the neighbours in Galata and other artists and artist groups to meet and collaborate in various ways. These process-based events rely on the experience as an outcome, which means that they often do not have an object-like end product.”  -excerpted from Public Art Bucharest.

Currently, our collaborative is scheming to build a tiny house in a public space where we can come and go as we please.

 

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