Open Space 2019: In Conversation with Huma Kabackı

This article was previously published in Issue 20, ISLANDS (March 2019).

Pluto's Kitchen by Işıl Eğrikavuk, Co-commissioned by Block Universe and Open Space (Image: Arron Leppard)


Huma Kabakcı is the Founding Director of Open Space, a charitable arts organisation that seeks to foster experimental art practices and explore the interconnected nature of politics and art. With physical roots predominantly in London with links to Istanbul, Open Space emerges from two diverse cultures with their own artistic, culinary, literary, and political traditions. Open Space doesn’t belong to a particular national identity – it exists within a new kind of territory, an omnipresent virtual space with the capacity to materialise at will. Rather than engaging sight alone, Open Space invades all five senses, maybe more, challenging the term ‘viewer’. One who encounters Open Space is an ‘experiencer’, and as she consumes the work she may feel more with her fingers than she can see with her eyes.


The guiding theme for the Open Space 2019 programme is, fittingly, ‘Space without spaces’. Though it may be divided into four categories, the programme blurs spatial boundaries in its content. Sometimes it rests in the ether, accessible to global readers parsing through the essays commissioned for ‘Writing Space’. At o