Istanbul Cultural Capital Of Europe 2010, in the context of the Lives and Works in Istanbul program. A Workshop designed and led by artist Danae Stratou | March 29th – Oct 31st 2010.

Participating Artists: Cem Gencer, Cemile Kaptan, Sibel Coşkun Horada, Timur Sezgin, Nazli Pektaş, Yasemin Nur Toksoy

The initial working title set by Danae Stratou was Divisions and Connections within Istanbul based on the idea that the city is united through divisions. It brings us together by building walls around us and, at once, it liberates us when we become its citizens with the power collectively to control our urban environment. But when the city is reshaped in the image of the mall, of the skyscraper, of a 5-star hotel that could be anywhere; when its vital space is developed like a commodity; then civic virtues wither and all that is left are mountains of cement which, in a crescendo of irony, are marketed as… The Forest View.

The Outcome: as a result of this workshop two outcomes have been achieved. Firstly, each participating artist has successfully completed a personal project, and secondly, a common, interactive with the public, project has evolved.

Both were presented at the main exhibition of Lives and Works in Istanbul at Sanat Limani (1st – 31st October 2010), under the title The Forest View:

A series of Workshops under the working title: Divisions and Connections within the City, will be given by Danae Stratou in each of the cities related to her ongoing Nature | Humanity art project.

A city is the most paradoxical of places. It brings people together just as powerfully as it isolates one from the other. It creates a great urge to cooperate but also gives rise to hideous conflicts. It is the laboratory of civic virtues and simultaneously the factory of malfeasance. It offers protection while, at once, it causes a great deal of insecurity.

We will approach the city experientially. By exploring and experiencing the city’s different layers, neighbourhoods, districts, we shall develop a dialogue with the different aspects of the urban grid. Urban spaces are a network of connected nodes as well as divisions, some soft others much sharper. The idea here is to unveil these connections and divisions through physical engagement with the city before conceptualising its constituent parts, both individually and collectively, and channelling these conceptions into particular, personal works.