1.Can you tell us about the Versus Art Project?
Established in 2013, it’s a young gallery. After gaining two years of experience in the field, the gallery went through a reorganization in 2015: we restructured the partnership and the management. Therefore we are the “youngest” and “newest” institution in this field.
However being young isn’t just the result of the time the gallery has been active. First and foremost, the name requires it. As you may know, “Versus” is a Latin word, meaning “against”. And the act of being against results in advocating change and standing up for the things that are new. This is the kind of “newness” and “youth” we’re after.
Otherwise we wouldn’t be “versus”.
We try to accomplish all this within the settled world, and share it with the art world. After a long search, we’ve determined that the historical building in Beyoğlu built in the 19th century would be the most appropriate place for our intended roles and goals. We have 350 square-meters of exhibition space. Still, with some shows it feels tight!
As a result of its nature, Versus possesses energy. This has to be why we sometimes feel exultant.
2.How does Versus Art Project position itself within the Turkish art scene, and what are its future goals?
Art is a way of “communication” that has its own unique language(s). The main goal of Versus Art Project is to become an effective channel for this communication that is unique to humans. That’s why we try to go beyond the act of hanging artists’ works on our walls in order to introduce them to the public. For us, each show is a long and joyous journey. As artists and their works reach a “public” space after an inner journey, a new phase begins. Our journey continues for the duration of the show as it’s reassembled, reanalyzed and discussed through different eyes, languages and disciplines.
As I mentioned above, in addition to presenting the works of artists to viewers, Versus Art Project is also one of the communication centers, meeting points in this field. Bringing together artists, critics, academics, buyers and viewers by organizing interviews, seminars, workshops, discussions, is a natural result of the position and the goals of Versus.
3.What do you think about the contemporary art scene in Turkey? What are its potentials and deadlocks?
Though I’m repeating myself, I’ll answer with just one word: Young! Don’t you think the same way? Young and dynamic… And there lies the answer to the second part of your question: it has quite a rich and dynamic potential; anything is possible. And this is exciting.