Developed during an artist residency in Istanbul, Mathilde ter Heijne’s installation Olacak! (Engl. “It Will Be!”) was made in collaboration with 75 craftswomen from the Kartal Kadın Ürünleri Pazarı (Women’s Products Market), an arts and crafts market in Istanbul’s Kartal district organized by the non-profit Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work (FSWW). Each participant used her individual skills to design and realize one part of Communal Snake (2010), a 30-meters-long, plush fabric snake. When the snake was completed, the women decided to carry it through the main shopping street in Beyoğlu, distributed handouts, and promoted their market – a sales platform exclusively for women.
The snake – considered a symbol of female inferiority in Christian culture – was transformed into a symbol of empowerment. Participants were also asked to answer a list of questions about their personal lives, work situation, and thoughts on the importance of the market, in order to start a process of communication and reflection about current conditions. Their answers were incorporated into Snake Power, a rap song composed by percussionist and rapper Monika Bulanda. A logo and handouts were designed to promote and introduce the market to a larger audience.
Olacak! examines women’s historically invisible role as a “home laborer” and proposes using these same skills to envision, engage, and empower the community.
This project has been shown at
Mathilde ter Heijne and Antje Majewski, Galerie Olaf Stüber, Berlin, 2011
Any Day Now, Kunsthalle, Nürnberg, 2010
Olacak!, Depo, Istanbul, 2010