Live Project: Cultural Agencies, Istanbul, 2009


The client for this live project was the Istanbul based Rhyzom partner “Cultural Agencies”, a collaborative project seeking “to develop contemporary models of cultural collaborations and institutional practices” , curated by Nikolaus Hirsch, Philipp Misselwitz and the artist collaborative Oda Projesi. This project had the remit and aspiration to challenge traditional cultural production in Istanbul and, in the context of the Istanbul Art Biennial 2009 and of Istanbul’s award of European Capital of Culture (2010), chose to work outside the ‘cultural bubble’ of the cosmopolitan centre of Istanbul and focus on a heavily politically charged context at the periphery of the city, in the neighbourhoods of Gϋlensϋ and Gϋlsϋyϋ.

Students  were asked by Cultural Agencies to develop an architectural concept for transforming the “Dükkânı“, a former shop turned into project base for Cultural Agencies, into a prototype of a new neighbourhood institution. The initial brief and programme of work given to the students by the client was very structured and determined, hinging on the concepts of ”‘generic institutional programmes” programmes’ as tools for cultural agency: Office, Archive, Communication, Events, Collection and Library. Students initially struggled with a prescriptive brief that seemed to preempt and devalue any research activity and understanding that they would want to develop within the project. Students were also critical of the fact that the brief required predominantly individual work, which was at odds with the ethos of the live projects, conceived as collaborative efforts. Despite their reservations about some of the methods of Cultural Agencies, students agreed to work within the proposed framework of the six ‘generic institutional programmes’ and produce six individual proposals for the Office, Archive,  Communication, Events, Collection and Library aspects of the Cultural Agencies project, suggesting new possible uses, future developments and exit strategies.

Co-organisers :  Agency, Platforma Garanti

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
41.012379 , 28.975926

contributor login

website by dorian moore @ the useful arts organisation

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License