İnterview: EKREM KAHRAMAN ‘BULUŞMA’(MEETING) Painting Exhibition Teşvikiye At MEDİCA/ ÇAĞDAŞ SANAT

Y.S- You are ready for the art lovers with your last exhibition ‘Buluşma’ after the exhibition named ‘Açık Adres’. Would you mind mentioning the exhibition and how you have formed it?

E.K- I think there are problems in terms of intention, desire, moral, energy and culture in this age for both individuals and society. This can be renamed as a situation of a historical human disaster, ideal deviation, alienation and isolation.

Supposedly, we are dispersed from what we really want, pay attention, believe and defend to the points that are contrast to the previous ones .

We get lost wholly in terms of the sense of society, humanity, country, culture, moral etc.

The interesting point is we are not aware of this situation. We think that we are still at the same situation with our truth


Way of living has disappeared but where it is not clear? The foresighted and clever people has been telling but they do not know that nobody listens to them or is aware of what he/she listens.

After some time, some of us realize that they are going to wrong places, wrong directions but it is too late to return.

They are indirect with horror, anxiety and incurability.

Furthermore, it is the same all over the world, not just in Turkey. The states, societies, cultures, moral, plans, projects, applications, forms, humanity, intelligence, heart, everything…

Open you eyes, open your heart and look around. Look at Syria, Iraq, Middle East and see the chaos in thwese countries. We are in a chaos in which the untruth, sack, insolence and truculence turn into blood in the middle of the age that is full of hopelessness, darkness but seems as attractive.

But this is a creative, transformist and revolutionary chaos as the huge and revolutionary ones in history

We are at the edge of a historical refraction making us lose what we have.

The refraction starts in 1990s and it speeds up in 2000s. I exhibited my paintings formed with those years’ effects in 2009 in Kare Art Gallery. I named the exhibition “Bulunduğumuz yer: ………….” (“The place we stand is …………………..”). I have looked for a decisive central concept.

The exhibition of mine named “Açık Adres” in last January in İzmir Nar Gallery and in April in Nişantaşı Renart have been formed with that context. It was an invitation, a suggest to a new place that is clear in terms of its intention, aim, coordinate.

The new exhibition at Medica Çağdaş is the continuation of the previous one. It is my last exhibiton based on a real “Meeting” at one of the possible addresses we should meet.

What was a person found in the world when he/she was born according to the holy books? A lifeless, altogether empty world, an atmosphere and the clouds in that atmosphere. Everywhere was full of sand and rocks. There were no grass, no trees. There were just necessities and images of the God.

The human was alone. He was not discrimanated as male and female, he did not know. There was nt moral, culture, ideology. There was aggressiveness but there was nothing to attact. Everything was wild but he was innocent at the same time.

To me, my paintings have been the indicator of that atmosphere and sensation of existence. The historical emotion has been developing.

On my last paintings there are typical anarchy, trouble, hope and escaping forms; and so called sky which lost its identity, the clouds turned to something by losing their nature and innocence.

ekrem-kahramanY:S- The earth, sky and space are the main themes of your paintings.What do you feel while you are forming your works? What are the messages of your last exhibition?

E.K.- I should confess that I feel a part of the world when I focus on art and poems. Furthermore, the most important, the most powerful, the most sensitive part. Maybe this is a little bit egoism but it is true.

So, the good or bad, sof tor hard touch to the skin of the world reaches to my skin at the same time.

I should confess again that I feel I am a part of this nature/world comes before I am a part of humanity expanding past, future and world.What can I do?

Because of that sensation, my paintings are formed in this soul, body and culture together with the visual.

For two years, I have taken photographs and I have tried the facilities of digital photographing. I have photograh files formed the way I adopt.

I want to display the photographs with my paintings as “art works” next year.

I used some of those photographs at last two exhibitions of mine in the parts of multidimensional works. When I feel I am about to finish my work, I pressed some of the whole photographs or chosen parts of them to my paintings.

I prepared messages to today by the images of skyscrapers, winches and asphalt roads through Anatolia.

I try to imply how the innocence and values have differed and fight each other with a contemporary visual effect.

Besides, I think the alienation,which I mentioned before, is reflected to the content, language, form and concept of modern art.So, I try to transform the technical possibilities even though I avoid using technological opportunities and create an original language . For instance, I do not think that my technique “I pressed some of the whole photographs or chosen parts of them to my paintings” is used in the world except for me.

Y.S- You are a poet, an author and an artist at the same time. Is one of them strong to others ora re they equal to you?

E.K- Actually they are equal, one piece as I am one-piece although I am interested in all of them sincerely. If you do something not for earn money, to become famous but for a deep human impulse to the sake of society, the situation is like this. Sometimes I am confused. One of the values becomes more important than others according to the life condition and the situation of sensation. Naturally, the emergency and obligation determine what comes first, second or third. You can get easily what I mean if you add the surprises and emergencies of daily routines.


Y.S- How does our society percevie the artist and work ? Is the interest increasing or is it an artificial interest?

E.K- At first, we should underline the situation of the private,complex, decisive cultural perception of art.So, the area requires a real interest and information. No matter how the society is ready for, need or capable art, it is highly difficult to create a balance between art and society. When the reality of the historical inequality is considered, the lack of perception and communication occurs.

Despite these realities,even though the people do not get the art completely, the interest of our society to art is increasing, like the interest of people to each other.

Who is interested in the people, the environment, the humanity and the culture enough?How much do we focus on the people that we love most and understand them? Even understand ourselves?

The same for the art…

The situation becomes a complex one when the society and humanity are considered unimportant and commercial. The impression of the society deviate and the deviation increases the enormous problems in communication and the content is transformed into an empty imaginary perception.

Y.S- What is you perspective to conceptional art and modern art? What is Turkey’s level in terms of art in the world?

I believe that art is an intellectual activity and there is concept/content in the centre of this activity. The traditional pure transfer and displaying manner comes second or third according to modern art. So I am relevant to the art with thinking and philosophical, intellectual claims but at the same time I am relevant to social perception, technique and ability.

But I think conceptional art alienates in terms of human perceptions, ideological and and cultural values and becomes more philosophical. I think a way of living to an artificial art on the concept of an artificial“nationalization” has been created by global advocators. This situation makes a deep alienation and an imaginary state among the artists advocating modern art.

But I should indicate that the art I call as “current modern art” puts different materials and language opportunities and finds solution to my necessities, intentions and thoughts.I realize that current modern art presents life contents and new language opportunities to Express our age as the same during art history.

The current modern art is in trouble because of the relationship of the reserved concepts of itself in the world. It is the same in modern thinking, art, culture, life, human values and society because of the same reasons. An enormous desensitization, worthlessness, deviation cover everything.Current politics is reduced to a series of tricks. So-called democracy, human rights, nationalization, international law, United Nations, Security Council, equality, peace make the world isolated.

Unfortunately, this is valid in the art. Because it submits to the neoliberal howl and reserved wholly.

To me, current modern art is worse. Because art can not be hypocritical, can not lie, can not deceive, the most important, can not be abstracted from human like politics.

I believe that modern art progresses in the countries and continents that have enthusiasm and sensations such as Turkey, Middle East, China, Middle Asia,South America.This situation brings newness, wealthiness and life to the art and aren’t these the main existence of the art itself?

Turkey comes before some cultures in terms of modern art even though it comes after in terms of commerce and circulation.Because in the countries like ours, there are sincere emotions and energy.This is such a superior feature that it affects other cultures.


Y.S- These days, our county is experiencing a different process. How do you evaluate the Taksim Park Resistence as an artist?

E.K.- Taksim Park Resistence is like this state. A huge performance. An enormous energy to the world, society, individuals that make feverish. A rebellion to the hypocritical politics, tricks, manipulation the concepts and contents, lies, dictation, making into slaves, political power. Today, human nature needs to say “I am here”.

I believe that an art of this rebellion will ocur in a process in the future. The clues and examples of the situation has emerged by displaying and sharing, by listening to music.

We are changing in terms of individual, society and culture. We will encounter a historical leap both in politics and ideology during next process.

Y.S.- How does Ekrem Kahraman spend time in his art studio?

I go to my art studio like an ordinary person who goes to the office. There is a legend of an artist saying “One day, I will go to my workshop in the morning and I will work there until the evening, I will make money in this way”. I succeeded it and it make me feel very lucy and successful

My studio in Çukurcuma in Beyoğlu. Every morning, I walk around Beyoğlu while I am going to the studio. I and my artisan friends have a chat about the world and peoples and I care about it. If it is possible, I go on the ritual in the evening.

The first thing I do when I enter the studio is check my e-mails and reply them, then I read the ODATV news and look at the world. I go to the office after I read three newspapers while having breakfast so I have current information.

I look the art books, catalogs and I tidy the studio then I start working. I work until the evening and sometimes until the night. I visit my friends at art galleries, I write what I am supposed to write. I share my ideas at conferences, panel discussions in the city or in another cities.

All of these activities take a lot of time and energy. That is why the most important thing that I always complain is lack of time in my life.

Y.S- What do you suggest to the young artists?

I do not want to be a person who is always advising but I have found myself in this position and mission. I am happy because of this position, sometimes I feel great simply because of this condition. Because I believe in the continuity of the culture and the only way to make it real is transferring the experiences, perceptions and information of the previous generation to the next one.

I believe that young artists should enrich and develop their thinking, life, learning and making capacity in terms of real intellectual values and experiences.

I higly recommend them to believe in their inner power and not to give up their beliefs and abilities because of the worldy weakness.

The rest of the keys to the success are working, working, looking at the world, searching, getting what is current but never being current… Because the world is of the insistent – but conscious insistent.

Thanks for the interview to Ekrem Kahraman. The exhibition is at Teşvikiye MEDİCA/ÇAĞDAŞ SANAT to October 11.

Have colour and art. 

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