Ecem Aslan : I know that the Apostrophe is a collection of spaces like a gallery, a club, an apartment and a barbershop and you described it as “a universe”. However, how can you describe its place/role in today’s art world? Where do you see the Apostrophe in general?
Ki Smith: The contemporary art world is often governed and distracted by the celebrity of specific venues and artists, Apostrophe is a force that redirects the attention back to the art itself. This requires pushing beyond the status quo and working within a multitude of contexts. Apostrophe has reached beyond the assumed audience through use of public space, playfully engaging with location and reception through multi-media events.
E.A: In your last 2 shows (Truck Show and Subway Show), you brought out the paintings from classical gallery space and put them in more interactive environments. Also, your upcoming project, Base 12, has the similar features. How did accessibility of art become an issue or a concern for you?
K.S: I think accessibility has always been a big thing for Apostrophe. Accessibility fosters crosspollination between different mediums and allows for more innovative artistic growth and understanding. Even after closing our original location we have continued to strive for accessibility as well as beginning to explore the idea of what makes a space a “gallery” and how site context and reception interact with art.
E.A: While you made art more accessible for viewers in subway station, you also included the artist in the exhibition process. They carried their own paintings and hang them up, etc. It is not a very common way to prepare an exhibition. What are you think about its advantages and disadvantages?
K.S: The subway show was in a public location, because of this everything from the riding of the subway to the handling and hanging of the show was not just curated, but also choreographed. The advantage is it crates a more holistic art experience, allowing overflow between the processes of making and displaying art. It also makes the art experience more transparent, demystifying the process of displaying and allowing people to focus more clearly on the art itself.
E.A: For your Base 12 project, you chose different locations in Spain, London and Turkey. What were your criteria for this selecting process? Why did you think these countries or spaces would be more suitable for your “Renegade Art Project”?
K.S: We picked Barcelona, Istanbul and London because we felt that each of these cities represents an important type of “art city”. Barcelona is an artist’s city and has not only birthed many major artists but continues to be a cultural nucleus. Istanbul is a very exciting art city with a relatively new and increasingly important contemporary art scene that now not only hosts multiple important art fairs but also much like New York is an incredible melting pot of cultures and arts. London is in many ways a sister city to New York, a place that has many layers and a large number of important blue chip galleries as well as emerging art spaces and important art fairs.