Happy Anniversary, Honey!!! Today I bought Julie a milkshake and a hamburger to commemorate our partnership as Caravansarai. She had sadly forgotten that today is the day, three years ago, that we opened our doors. But it is understandable that we would forget that today marks the date of a momentus occasion, because we have been seriously busy with a few other momentus tasks recently!

Most notable of these tasks has been the opening and continued run of our final exhibition, Perşembe Pazarı Projects. We managed the work of 13 artists, in addition to creating our own, doing all of our own design, publicity, and basically everything. We deserve more than a milkshake, but I suppose an awesome show is its own reward!

DSCN6032

DSCN6029

Opening guests do secret Hurdacı Karaoke.  Looks fun, huh?

Opening guests do secret Hurdacı Karaoke. Looks fun, huh?

Fiona Davies' work, "Blood on Silk: Turn to Turn Away" but AT NIGHT!!! Spooky.

Fiona Davies’ work, “Blood on Silk: Turn to Turn Away” but AT NIGHT!!! Spooky.

This is a runic grafitti in Icelandic which translates as, "Arni was here and found his wife, Anne"  Awwwww

This is a runic grafitti in Icelandic which translates as, “Arni was here and found his wife, Anne” Awwwww

It was not done with conscious intent, but it seems funny to us that we would start an end on the same date. How’s that for “closure”?

Advertisements

Now that Caravansarai has a building, we have begun our first project. Part documentation, part research, part architecture, part installation—the project’s working title is “Tea, Tavla, and Tall Tales.”

Our building was built in the 80s in the Perşembe Pazarı in Karaköy, and has provided office and showroom space for hardware salespeople (mostly men) since it was built. But the neighborhood is changing, as neighborhoods do, and we are aware of our role in this ‘gentrification’ (although one could argue that opening a production space with not much commercial viability is not really gentrifying.) In any case, we would like to find out how the current tenants of the Caravansarai building feel not only about our invasion of their neighborhood, but also their historical perceptions. When did they arrive there? What was it like then? Do they know what was there before? What do they think we are doing there?

bina_yazi
To investigate these questions, we, with the help of Turkish volunteers, will conduct some oral history interviews and transcribe them into English. After some research into the history and mythology of the Galata/Karakoy neighborhood, we will try to overlay their stories with other historical stories and then invite artists to create their own myths (informed by the information gathered) in any medium to be incorporated into the architecture of the building.

Speaking of architecture—it is crucial that we begin this process now, as the current tenants will not be there much longer, at which point we will begin the renovation of the space from hardware emporium to art space.