Interview: Ceren Tekin Karagöz
Luca Curci talks with Ceren Tekin Karagöz during FRAGMENTED IDENTITIES, the second appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
She graduated from Gazi University, Gazi Education Faculty, Department of Fine Arts Teaching in 2008. She received her master’s degree from Pamukkale University Institute of Educational Sciences in 2014, and a Ph.D. degree from Gazi University Institute of Educational Sciences in 2020. In 2012, she found an opportunity to work at an art center for children in Denmark. She has been working as a research assistant at Pamukkale University since 2013. She participated in many national and international exhibitions and opened personal exhibitions. He has been working as a Research Assistant at Pamukkale University since 2013.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Ceren Tekin Karagöz – The work of art is human-made; It has several features that enable it to be considered as a candidate by people representing a person or a particular social institution (art world). After the idea that the artist should produce an aesthetically beautiful object, nowadays I believe that art is a living concept, and it cannot or should not be tied to a single condition or set of conditions. So that art reveals the effort of a person to transcend themself. It can also be interpreted as an effort to make people questioning the world around them and creating the world their own. There is tension in art, there is mutual conflict. In the essence of art, it is not enough that art arises from an intense and real experience, it also needs to take a form by gaining objectivity. The reason for the existence of art is constantly changing, but I think that it reflects the thoughts, wishes, needs, and hopes of a certain time in history. Art is a kind of work that is almost as old as humans, and we cannot think independently of humans.
LC – What are you currently working on?
CTK – Currently, as someone whose roots are based on a small point irrigated by the Eastern Euphrates River, I have drawn the map of the Euphrates River, which has taken its place in the past and future. These lands and the Euphrates, which have hosted many civilizations for thousands of years, are like a fairy tale that brought many changes and transformations and enabled humanity to evolve to its present position. With my new project, I tried to query the places where this river, which was born in Anatolia, passed through Syria and Iraq, poured into the Persian Gulf, and formed Mesopotamia with a length of 2,800 km, its relationship with “human” intervention. The work consists of a collage of ink drawings of the Euphrates River on 20 20×20 acetate layers divided into 20 parts. Each piece of collage contains traces of cultures found in that region, developed, and settled with the presence of the river, and clues to the general geographical structure.
LC – What is your creative process like?
CTK – Since I focus on the relationship between the world and humans in my works, I try to keep my knowledge up to date about environmental issues and the rights of all living things. After this process, I create my works around certain themes. Depending on the theme, I create overlapping layers of drawings, manipulated photos and prints. Mountains, trees, flammagenitus clouds and titans referring to humanity appear as the main elements in my artworks. Besides, I am using writings that I wrote and also news or articles in old magazines related to my themes.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
CTK – I am questioning the relationship between the ” the interfered thing” and the ” the interfering thing” through my works. I am working on the problem of the contradictory and chaotic unity between humans and “things” – animate and/or inanimate. I am discussing the relentless struggle they have entered for years with the human vandalism of the stone, which dates back to ancient times with their centuries-old history, which is made by human hands and mostly shattered by human hands. In this context, my works represent vandalism, stone and seagull icons with a critical attitude in the context of synchronous time.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
CTK – I think the Borders Art Fair, Fragmented Identities, which focuses on human identities, is directly related to the “human questioning” in my artworks. I believe the idea of human figures in my works interfering with time and the world by overconsumption is related to the human identity that constitutes the content of the fair and the fragmented human being.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
CTK – The artworks that I have included in the exhibition belong to a series that I have been working on for a long time. In the exhibition, I participated with two works belonging to my series titled Titans and Earth. Titans represent man’s intervention in time and the world by consuming too much, human desires and hunger that go back and forth between “life-war”. Threats to fragile mountain ecosystems with enormous power are increasing, especially from climate change, energy needs and mining. The contrast between the enchantment of the stone and the destruction of people is becoming more visible every day. In this context, the works represent the human intervention in the world through the relationship of stone and titans with a critical attitude in the context of time.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
CTK – Today, being an artist can be seen as a difficult concept that requires considering many parameters together. As Art changes in each new process, the artist likewise changes. It is related to the environment they query, their discourse and the environment they reveal. Today, the artist has begun to live in an endless bombardment of information and images with the development of the media, the ease of access to the works, and the increase of sharing with social platforms. For this reason, I think that it is difficult for the artist to find his/her own way in this abundance of information – even though this information has many advantages.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
CTK – ITSLIQUID Platform brings together artists with diverse disciplines from many countries of the world. That’s why I think it’s an important opportunity for artists to be on this platform. Having the opportunity to exhibit our works in a place visited by many people from many parts of the world, especially in cities such as Venice, makes it easier for us to come together with many people from different places and cultures in the world.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
CTK – As I said, the ITSLIQUID Platform brings together artists from many different disciplines from many countries of the world. They are ensuring many people and works meet in very special locations. I think it is one of the most beautiful platforms where artists can meet with the audience and express themselves.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
CTK – I am very happy that you contacted me, and I had this possibility to be part of the Borders Art Fair. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I could not come to the exhibition physically this time and see it myself, but I watched all your posts on social media with interest. I hope I have a chance to come. Working with the ITSLIQUID group has been a very good experience for me. It informed me a lot about opening to international platforms and provided me to have a very good experience. I would like to thank all the teams here for their intense efforts and sensitive approaches. I will be happy to participate in many art events with the ITSLIQUID group in the future.