Could you please tell us about yourself?
Hi, I am Mert, I was born in 1989 in Ankara. I graduated from Hacettepe University Graphic Design Department in 2012. I completed my masters degree in 2017 at the art painting department of Gazi University and started The Proficiency in Art program at the same place. My first solo exhibition named Placeholder curated by Melis Golar was held at Middle East Technical University in 2016 and second solo exhibition named Dörtlüleri Yak was held at Torun Art Gallery the same year. Some of the group exhibitions I participated are: Akbank 36th. Today’s Artists Exhibition (Akbank Sanat, 2018), Mixer Sessions III (Mixer Gallery, 2018), Little Sweet Lies (Plato Art, 2018), BASE (Galata Greek School, 2017), Mekan Atelier IV (Cermodern, 2017) and Mamut Art Project 2017 (Küçükçiftlik Park, 2017). I have also been participating in the Pelesiyer Contemporary Art Initiative since 2015.
Backlit Photography Installation
90 x 135 x 10 cm – 70 x 105 x 10 cm – 70 x 105 x 10 cm
What essentially inspires you when you decide where to take your photos as a photography artist?
I usually take the photographs of the venues that are in between urban and rural areas and don’t insert any information about the time and place. Leaving out the indicators of place and time enables an overlook that does not belong anywhere but belongs to everywhere – and still be neither of them. Even though photographing an empty, non-significant, ordinary and ruined environment seem like a dystopian fiction, it opens up a space where one can reflect on the features of reality that is converged with fiction which is not apparent when you look at it directly. However I cannot say that I limit my practice with only this approach. There are times I use different approaches with different mediums.
And when I select the venues that I will photograph, sometimes I make a slight discovery by Google Street View and take off after I do venue researches about my subject of study. However the real discovery happens on the way and I could find myself in places that I have never predicted. I can say that I follow a semi-planned and semi-random way while choosing locations.
Placeholder Series 2016 – 2018
In your photography installations, you have made works by starting out with the intense light bombardment we usually are exposed to. Light in your works takes a place in a different axis than usual. Could you please tell us why?
Unlike the light that is used to illuminate any place, the light on telephone screens, computer screens, televisions and billboards are only there to make the content that comes in front of you visible. When you take this light and put it before the content or place it behind a photograph that shows the destruction of its own image, it becomes something else. Instead of concealing the absence of a deep reality, it forces it to be visible. While the act of concealing and showing replace each other, seeing no change on the brightness of the light gives a sense of despair.
Placeholder Series 2016 – 2018
Could you please tell us about the most inspiring, motivating, impressing moments in your education life or during this phase of your career?
There are many local and international artists who really inspire me. However, I can say that my friends from my generation who are interested in any part of art are my greatest source of motivation. When we have been through constant and intense production process, our works, writings, our ways of looking at things, and interpretations are the things that make us excited the most. The most important of all is we learn from each other a lot.
INTERVIEW : DENİZ KILIÇ