Can you tell me about yourself. How did you decide you wanted to be an artist?
There is an old dull story about this question: many artists just say: “because this is the only job I can do”. Someway there is some truth in this statement for me. “Being an artist” is a sort of benign illness (or vocation, depends from the point of view) that entraps one’s way of looking, thinking and living. For me all started, I was 16 years old, reading a book of Paul Klee: “Voyage to Tunisia”. I promptly decided: “I must be an artist”. Emotionally I feel still very close to this little book.
I know that you use varied techniques while producing your artworks; painting, sculpture, design, photography, installation and video-games. Which material do you prefer? Which one do you think reflect your messages better? What would you like to tell me about your artworks in general?
Like a Florentine artists of the Renaissance (I apologize for the apparently egotistic approach…) I do consider the so-called “project” the most important point in any artistic creation. So I do believe in the main central idea/concept that, everytime, should be declined and shaped using the proper media and technique. Every mental creation has its own and specific way to become “epiphania”( akin: to became real and visible). Does not matter if ceramic, drawing, glass, ready made, video, new media, painting, or whatever else, is the way.
In this ever changing world, do you believe there is a type of art will always remain contemporary?
In a high technological time, like this present one, probably the most traditional techniques are those with less obsolescence. Drawings and paintings paradoxically could be considered today the most reliable and resilient techniques because not too affected by the frequent quick technological turns.
How did you decide to take part in the Biennale? How do you feel about its conceptual framework?
I decided because I knew the curators and they were for me a definitive guarantee for a serious curatorial work and a good organization. And I was totally right.
Geography and History this year arranged a very special meeting in the Dardanelles Strait. Something absolutely unavoidable and unmissable. Not just a “celebration” of war memories but, instead and foremost, a survey about how contemporary art may think and “play” with historical (troubled and controversial) events. Non-rhetoric, instead with witty humor, sharp views and dramatic feelings.
Do you think biennials obtain their targeted aims and reach the right type of viewers?
I would say it is for sure successful in terms of artistic aims. Everything in Çanakkale Biennale is very substantial and informal at the same time. In the perfect spirit of today’s culture. No stiff or formal attitude, just the core of the stuff and an enjoiable “light & smart” approach to the venues and places.
Of course I can not know how many viewers like the Biennale and how many people visit it. Ehat I can say is Çanakkale has been for me a great and amazing surprise for many aspects.
Have you ever shown any of your artworks in Turkey before?
Yes. in Istanbul at BORUSAN Foundation, “ENGAGED IN RECREATION”, in 2005 and at Elgiz Museum “THE DAWN OF TOMORROW, in 2008. And at the first SINOPALE (Sinop Biennale), in an amazing former Ottoman prison on the shore of the Black Sea, in 2006.
Can you tell me about your artwork that will be on display at the Çanakkale Biennial: ‘Elegant War’.
My project “ELEGANT WAR (WITH SPONSOR)” consists in six big drawings inspired by the headgears used by the soldiers involved in the slaughters that happened there in 1915. His eccentric approach is about the visual appeal of violence, riots and war on the various media. The virtual presence of a financial supporter (a corporate brand) in wars should not seems so irreal or bizarre, rather it would be pretty logic (in terms of media and business). The celebrated aphorism “L’argent est le nerf de la guerre” is sadly and famously true: war is always looking for huge financial resources.