ART , PARDON OUR FRENCH
Interview: Erman Özbaşaran & Ahmet Çerkez
Ten minutes with the artists
Studios are where it all happens. We visited Ahmet Çerkez and Erman Özbaşaran’s studio for a quick round table discussion about art, galleries and the scene in İstanbul. You might remember their works from a joint exhibition “Metabolite” or Beymen’s in İstinye Park. Read the chat below.
When and how did you meet?
Erman: We met when we were students 14-15 years ago.
Art is often perceived as an individualist discipline. How did you decide to produce together?
Ahmet: We worked in joint projects after we graduated and decided to create a studio together. When we decided to open an exhibition together, we wanted to create a collective work and then we continued.
How would you evaluate the art scene in Turkey for young artists?
E: Many diverse opportunities have emerged with the creation of economy based on profits.
A: Of course there are opportunities, but it will take some time for collections, artists and galleries to settle down.
You incorporate materials in your works by modifying their nature. How do you decide on the materials you will be working with?
A: We use materials that are not functional anymore. We construct them according to our mindset and create new works.
E: We collect materials we see.
How does living in İstanbul affect you and your works?
A: It affects us directly with its people, chaos and speed.
E: It shapes who we are.
Who inspires you?
E: Many artists have inspired us.
A: We both respect artists that are sincere greatly.
You work independently without any galleries. What do you do to make yourselves visible?
A: We don’t do much.
Do you remember the first works you sold? What do you feel about giving out something you’ve created?
E: I remember it pretty well, if we don’t let go what we’ve produced we’ll be stuck in the studio.
A: I also remember it pretty well, it is very motivating.
Do you comment on each other’s works? How do you set the boundaries between friendship and work?
E: Of course we do, I care deeply about Ahmet’s opinions. We are friends but we can criticize harshly and have fun at the same time.
A: We care more about other people’s opinions rather than one other.
What is currently on your playlist at the studio?
A: Royal Blood
What project are you excited about in the near future?
A: We are working on a collaborated exhibition.
E: We were working on a public space project but since the organization was handled by someone who is getting ready for the elections, there is uncertainty.
What was the most impressive exhibition you’ve recently seen?
A: Permanent collection at the Salvatore Ferragamo museum.
E: Yes, we visited it when we were in Florence.
A: I didn’t see something impressive in İstanbul this year.
E: There was Murat Morova’s exhibition.
If you could showcase your works anywhere, where would you choose?
E: We worked with arter for one of our collective projects.
A: I would like Tate Modern
E: Good thoughts
What would you like to ask each other?
E: Ahmet, when will you bring the eroticism in your works forefront?
A: When will your love for construction die?