Street scene in Istanbul. Photo: Courtesy iyiofis, 2013
The project considers the wide sidewalks of New York City to be untapped capital for the public, offering a surface for noncommercial social activities. While Central Park and Washington Square Park have become natural hubs for social gatherings, the streets can offer a more intimate and spontaneous experience for interaction between city dwellers. It is common in Middle Eastern cities like Istanbul for activities to overflow onto the sidewalk due to lack of space, which is the main inspiration behind “Istanbul Sidewalk.”
Iyiofis consists of architects and designers from Istanbul who have been invited to work with Tally Beck Contemporary. We propose to play upon this untapped capital and encourage social interaction by introducing a common sidewalk activity from Istanbul: a game of tavla (backgammon) over a cup of tea. Portable cardboard stools and tavla boards designed specially for the event will be provided by Tally Beck Contemporary for distribution on the sidewalks of Rivington Street. A semaver (Turkish samovar) of tea will be ready for visitors to enjoy. Social media will be an integral part of the project; game scores, comments, and pictures will be posted by the contributors.
Istanbul Sidewalk will be on view Wednesday May 1 through Saturday May 4 during gallery hours.
There will be an opening reception on Wednesday May 1 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and LGBT Cocktails on Friday May 3 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.