Questions from Mosaic to Concrete from the Editors

Tevfik Çağrı Dural
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Şener Soysal
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Once upon a time here was all mosaic.

I guess, some think of human beings as concrete made up of cement. That is why they try to make everything uniform and gray. Yet, this kind of a muddy structure how mighty it may seem, is cold, disharmonious with nature, inanimate. I know from the willow tree whose shadow is unpleasant to many; either way some tree root comes up, grows and cracks open the concrete and gains its freedom.

Unlike concrete, human beings consist of parts that are of different shapes, different colors. These parts by gathering together and preserving their own personal characteristics, forms a whole. Different characteristics of these parts embellish the whole. That's why human beings can only be represented via mosaic.

In June, when I took photographs of the stones people first used to defend themselves and later placed back, I felt an amazing enthusiasm. Though that same place is covered with cement at the moment, my enthusiasm and hope survives.

That tree will grow and crack open that concrete. Here will be all "mosaic" again.


Have we replaced it with concrete?

Or do we still question the position of each of those stones which make up the mosaic?

Will we criticize each other?

Do we disassemble the embedded structure to transform it into a uniform one, rather than internalizing it?

Can't we find a way out of this old gallery/collectioner/my-way-or-the-high-way artistic attitude which we all used to before Gezi?

Where has that collective formation gone?

Was it lost, or is it us who cannot see it?

Does our personal ideas still exist and prevail?

Those who do art had always been keeping on their artistic practice, but does the idea of a collective practice with other artists as well ensue?

Biennial? We have read really good criticisms about it though, didn't we? *

Contemporary Istanbul? A structure was formed through which we could communicate with each other directly. As for the art fair, it stands beyond this. Doesn't it also entail this relation between artist-artist, artist-critic and artist-individual as it were? Is it only the gallery and collectioner building a direct relationship with each other? Yes, there should be galleries, but the reason for the artist to continue his/her practice is not only that. (Not only that, isn't it?) Why can't the artist reach his/her audience directly? Isn't there a way to break this convention? Doesn't the internet give more access in terms of reaching one's audience? Surely, exhibiting one's works is crucial, but should it only be through that vintage print, that frame, that sterilized white room? Can't they be replaced with something else as to reach more people? Besides, if there is an art market through art fairs and galleries, why not do the same thing through peddlers?

Our minds are overflowing with questions again. What triggered them was the text above and what it represents. How finely we expressed our enthusiasm previously with a "mosaic" on the cover of the 135th issue of Sanat Dünyamız. We hoped that the art world in Turkey would wake up to itself, but we still think we come to get stuck in similar discussions/production/consumption processes.

We are aware of the fact that collective efforts, works which were longstanding before Gezi continue. What we can do is to remind that we are open to essays and projects with regards to this resistant attitude which we believe to exist within art practice. Resistance manifests itself when lack of communication comes to a boil. Sometimes it crystallizes against a mother and sometimes as in Şahin Kaygun, against the impositions of some photographic perspective specific to an era.

Photography is not something that merely concerns photography itself. It is about life and people. Although the tangible, this concrete-like disposition in us may seem terribly orderly, smooth and unproblematic, it is important to remember it is artificial, suffocating, and not equalitarian and intimate.

Mosaic (Representative)