The House Hotel Karaköy
, located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Karaköy on Bankalar Caddesi, is a convenient launching pad to explore bohemian Pera, historic Sultanahmet and the Galata Port. Restored by the Agha Khan award-winning Turkish architect Han Tümertekin, the building structure retains original features, while the luxurious modern interiors were designed by Sinan Kafadar who was inspired by its imposing bank vaults, which also gave rise to the hotel’s name. The contemporary classic room interiors also evoke wealth and luxury. An in-house art curator organizes events and exhibitions throughout the hotel. Also, a collection of precious books related to art, culture & music are displayed in the lobby lounge.
As for the artworks in the hotel, we have chosen not to work with big and well-known artists. Instead, building most of our activities on supporting the local artists, local shops and initiatives as well as collaborating with big and large - size art institutions in Istanbul.
Because the hotel is so close to Salt Galata, Istanbul Modern, galleries in Karaköy and Beyoglu, we aimed to be the meeting place for their events. Or if anyone would like to do an art or dance performance, concert, show an installation we are also open for all these activities.
To give an example, so far we''ve started collaborating SPOT
, founded and run by Tansa Eksioglu and Zeynep Oz. They''ve been holding workshops and seminars with international art professionals and institutions. Out of these workshops they are raising funds for new commissioned projects curated by Zeynep Oz. We''ve hosted their event with Christies and the upcoming one is with Phillips de Pury.
We''ve hosted the Dinner Noire performance/event, organized by Protocinema
, published on Art Forum
. We''ll be hosting Lindy Hop dance nights, collaborating with the Lindy Hoppers Istanbul organization. So, these are the tangible examples to show our collaboration with the art and culture scene around. Its not only visual arts, but we are open to all kinds of art.
In terms of artworks, we worked with Galata Fotoğrafhanesi for the photographs in each corridor and the rooms except the main floor. Galata Fotoğrafhanesi
is a photography initiative and we did it to support them to survive while they are having difficulties with financial support. For the framed works in the corridors that look decorative, we worked with Erman Ozbasaran and Ahmet Cerkez, two artists whose practices are mainly on urban issues. These were not examples from their own works - meaning they did the corridor works to support themselves. However, all these works in the corridors are photos from the construction of the building, when the people were still working and when it didn''t look too nice. Erman and Ahmet manipulated these photos with non digital techniques. The idea is to keep the old texture of the building but not making it look directly like construction photos directly.
Erman and Ahmet have also one piece in the lobby where the idea is built on ''''Karakoy Inside Out'''' theme. The idea with this theme is that as this texture of old town is going to get lost soon as hotels and big companies will take their place. The local shops will have to move out as happens in all urban transformation process, which is a problem. However, we want to keep these features inside, hopefully not with a nostalgic perspective but in a way that we can move the idea further and leave it to the artists.
The work at the reception is by Ardan Ozmenoglu, whose technique is based on post-its and silk prints. Such a daily object as post-it becomes a painting/work. Visually, this work is an old banknote which makes a reference to the earlier function of the building as bank. Erman and Ahmet''s work in the lobby is made up of found materials, wooden pieces, metal pieces and photos of the building transformed on to these materials. The work reflects the urban texture from a bird view.
Burcu Koken''s work is a typographical piece where she brings the signages from the shops and streets in Karakoy together on a map of Beyoglu. That its layered reflects the different periods and layers of the neighbourhood.
Ayca Telgeren has three abstractions from the feature of Karakoy; crazy stairs (reference to the steep stairs in Karakoy and the one right across the building - Kamondo) The lamp man (reference to the light shops around), and an imaginary map of the city which is also an abstraction of the lively neighborhood.
These are the works, activities and what we aim when we say we have art in the hotel. We really do mean it and the idea is to continue with these activities more than just focusing on the artworks. I consider the ongoing relationship with the outside world and people more important than the works that are mostly decorative pieces.