THE INTERVIEW WITH BENGÜ GÜN ON MIXER GALLERY

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1. Since its opening, Mixer came to be known with its support for the younger generation of contemporary artists. Can you tell us a bit about where Mixer positions itself, its attitude and its goals?

 Mixer was founded in order to support young artists who are at the beginning of their careers, and to make art accessible to everybody. Our primary goal is to get in contact with young artists, providing them with a professional platform where they can show their works, and maybe be the first to have discovered them. Naturally, more accomplished artists have also taken part in our shows some time after our opening. We believe this also further motivates and nurtures younger artists. We provide an alternative to the currently established gallery system, and we organize various partnerships and activities to make artists and their work more accessible. In addition to aiming to make our website and our physical space always accessible, we also organize education programs to inform and educate people who are interested in contemporary art. We hold shows in public spaces, with the intention to make them a part of people’s lives. We find it important that artists are able to earn their living through their artistic practice. In an effort to help artists advance their careers, we provide help on how to prepare CVs, portfolios, and how to apply to artist residency programs. In the years we’ve been active, many new galleries have opened, some have closed their doors, new art fairs were launched, the number of online and printed publications about art increased; the art scene is more active now.

In this regard, Mixer is an innovative, dynamic and completely open contemporary art space and meeting point. Our next goal is to realize projects abroad with our artists, thus expanding our playground.

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2. You’ve recently moved from your old large space in Tophane, to another large one in Taksim. What are the advantages of your new location?

 We hear from our visitors that it’s much easier to visit us here, compared to Tophane. The new space, which is located at Sıreselviler 35, provides us with more possibilities. The Open Space, where we put artworks on display independent of shows and sometimes hold solo projects, is now better separated from our exhibition space — this was an issue in the old space; we received a lot of feedback about it and we sought a solution. In a similar way, “Mixer Editions” also looks pretty good in its new space. Like before, our office space is located within the show with its transparent walls, without intervening with it. We think this space meets our needs better. Of course, Tophane as a district had a unique structure and atmosphere, but it’s also pretty good here.

3. What do you think about the future progress of contemporary art in Istanbul?

With the closing of some galleries last year, a negative and anxious mood prevailed. With the current state of politics, there are plenty of depressing things. It’s important that we continue doing our jobs, that the artists continue to produce without changing their attitudes. We see that, when it comes to art, there are always new attempts, new initiatives; there are platforms where artists come together and support each other. I think we’ll be seeing more of these cooperations and collaborations, which gives me hope. I also observe that Turkish artists and galleries are nowadays trying harder than ever to be a part of the international art scene, which is a sign that there will be more artists and galleries visible abroad. I think many institutions, large and small, will be more active in the days to come. People are excited about that.

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