PARK: bir ihtimal (PARK: a possibility)

Artist: Can Altay
Location: Nisantasi Cumhuriyet Park, Instabul, Turkey
Year of completion: 2010
Researcher: Giusy Checola

On 2010 in Nişantaşi Cumhuriyet Park, on the European side of Istanbul, artist, architect and researcher Can Altay run the public art project "PARK: bir ihtimal (PARK: a possibility)", questioning the sense of private boundaries in the public space, that three years later will be playing a fundamental role in the upraising of a massive mouvement for the defence of public space, the Gezi resistance.

By providing an installation which covered around 300 square meters, the project acted within the immediacy of the presence of citizens and inhabitants as like as the visitors of the park, that is always crowded because of its location in Istanbul city center. Their interaction with the space and the project constitutes a way to gather around a common need. Several artists, contributors, local and international people were involved in the project.

A publication has been distributed along with the project and after the dismantling of the installation the further discussion on ideas behind the project were developed in several books and newspapers articles.

More Below


What the project activated became visible in all its intellectual and physical force three years later. The project has been part of the long-lasting process to imagine owning public space differently, bringing people from different social, cultural and religious backgrounds to share spaces and ideas. The people involved in the project acted more as community rather than as collectivity, in order to create new images of the "publicness" that during Gezi events they defended even in front of the brutality that characterized the Turkish police in those days, by generating unprecedent forms of resistance and a new iconography of the protest. According to the artist, the project has been mentioned during and after the Gezi events as one of the moments able to feed how the imagination of the park resulted in the actual occupation of Gezi Park.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency