Havva Altun / Ozan Bilginer / Aslı Işıksal / Funda Susamoğlu / Seval Şener
08.06.2018 – 09.07.2018
Galeri Siyah Beyaz
MELİS GOLAR : Despite the fact that each artist has different production motivations, practices, and ways of handling the subject, the ambivalent state that ‘Stronger Than I am’ ‘s concept constituted by each artist was the element that grabbed my attention at most. Could you mention a bit about the starting point of this concept? I am curious about what has been talked between the group during this process.
BENDEN GÜÇLÜ : Rather than a concept, ‘Stronger Than I am’ was a keynote title that grabbed us quickly and united us together in a incomprehensible way. Our different characteristics of production opened up a great dialogue to understand each other and to analyze the problem. The visible state may be the result of the ties that we have each established with the term ‘Stronger Than I am’. The first time we confronted the expression of ‘Stronger Than I am’ was via the documentary ‘Sociology is a Martial Art’ of Pierre Bourdieu. In the documentary, Bourdieu expresses that he could not change his 80-year-old mother through this phrase. In order for us to keep ourselves in the axis of art, the meetings we had for almost every week were longing and we have come across with this phrase. In these meetings we were talking about everything; from contemporary art market to being an academic artist, from country’s agenda to our individual artistic views, from being a civil servant to being a citizen. This phrase, which seems so obvious that we will not even need to look at the dictionary, in a way that contradicts that what it means for each of us had to be discussed for a long time. There were some points that came out of this: nature, a form of absurdity, instinct, unconsciousness, and perceiving ‘Stronger Than I am’ as a state. The difficulty was the phrase which did not make an artistic visual connotation and linking with our own artistic practices because we began to think that we can now make an exhibition under this title. This part was a tough one. We wanted to make an exhibition together and keep our own specific art forms. Designing ‘Stranger Than I am’ as a group exhibition has become a substantial topic for all of us. In short, while gathering under the title of ‘Stronger Than I am’, we consider not only our representations but also the representation that will emerge in total. Throughout this process, we have witnessed the way in which each of us associated with ‘Stronger Than I am’ first on an intellectual then on an operational level.
MELİS GOLAR : The group you formed as a result of a mutual state of mind, was embodied around a relative representation of power in the exhibition ‘Stronger Than I am’. Did ‘Stronger Than I am’ examine the power balance between the artist and his/her artistic production?
BENDEN GÜÇLÜ : In fact, we often talk about art production’s compelling and non necessarily entertaining nature. There is a rhythm that is not in fitting in the cause and effect relation of everyday life, it is both attractive and challenging. Production is a strong feeling, however it is often due to the desperation or the inability to cope… It is definitely possible to talk about a power balance over the artist and his/her artistic production. The image is like an imposition to the artist, but she/he has the power to place it in a solution, or is the one who has to catch up the power by finding ways to make it legible. Either the image or the artist’s words predominate so that both the work will stop being a mysterious form and do not become extremely didactic. This can be considered as a productive challenge.