Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Among the various projects by Oda Projesi, the art group created by three young Turkish women, the Annex presented at the 2003 Venice Bienale is one I find particularly powerful. One of Oda Projesi's main interests is the notion of room, as a part of the house and as space. The difference between space and room seems crucial: room is inhabited. It is the space closest to skin. Annex is the portrait of a typical dwelling, one that was meant to be temporary (as a shelter after the earthquake in Adapazari), but ended up as permanent. What we get is the transformation of an asbtract space into a human one - but this change seems to be doomed to fail. The house grows annexes, built in wood, that differ from one family to another. Oda Projesi focus on these differences, which illustrate ways of life, needs, habits: people. Those are poor people who can't afford anything more, but the pictures and descriptions force the viewer to go beyond the all-too-simple statement of poverty. They are maps that allow us to approach someone who seemed distant just a moment ago.