Interview: Eser Gündüz


Istanbul, Turkey.


Hi Eser, could you tell us a little about yourself and how your journey to the world of art began?

I am thirty years old and I live in Istanbul. I can summarize my art journey in three stages: at the earliest, I was just drawing, it was a period when I tried to understand what the line and drawing were; we can define the next period academically, I have met with universal drawing techniques in this transition period, where we have just studied the details we see; then the architectural period, thanks to the universal language of this period, and my art became more and more architectural; now I am in the abstract period of synthesis of them all.

What do you mean by the architectural period, is it related to your education?

Yes I mean the architecture education I received at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University naturally affected my work in this direction. This process shaped my artist identity in this direction, as the school provides education in bauhaus school. Later, I also made architectural studies in a global framework. But I think that architecture remains pure in today’s world. It is quite difficult to get the right ideology and the lines of this ideology perceived and accepted in the social sense. In architectural practices, many factors like this can break down your ideas and thoughts. But we can think that they are all one in the art process; architecture, painting, graphics and many other dimensional studies are all called unified visual arts. You can realize the right production on every surface as a designer and I basically had to make a distance with architecture and search in order not to be corrupt in art. I knew I would be a happier and more productive producer with painting, and it happened as I guessed. The harsh attitudes and certainty in architecture turned the intense mess in painting into clear lines rather than uncertainties. This night has let me to the idea that no assertive and unreasonable behavior should be in art. Thanks to the multidisciplinary perspective, we can see the picture from different places. In this way, I was able to set up my paintings in line with the ideology that I believed more and not my beauty. For me, every line should serve a function and it must have a reason. The story is the story, the form is the form… Many elements in my drawings and paintings come from here and I call it all architectural morphology.

Please tell us about your style, do you often use various non-ordinary media in creating your work, for example, a hard disk drive attached to a canvas, how would you describe your work?

I am doing abstract and experimental studies in this period. My work is already mostly shaped by concepts from modernist retro-futurism. Works titled “Clearsky”, “Super Science”, “Gladio” are mostly based on utopias. In my work, the titles and ideas are highly interrelated.

“Clearsky” comes from pure expressionism, good sky and nothingness.
The concept of nothingness is about all anomalies in the human and nature cycle.

“Gladio” tells us about a warrior and dark theme that drives retro-futurism, and in his fine details, he tries to reflect a school (bauhaus) where aesthetics is mostly built on thin feet. Some robotic scenes and amorphous forms of the 80s and 2000s are included in this composition and turn into a space. These are very important dynamics in my utopia.

“Super Science” is mostly about micro-controlled, artificial, thin computer designs. This style of work has mostly contemporary minimal surfaces, and science elements on compositions refer mainly to the theme of artificial intelligence.

”New world order ”

Also in Super Science;
Along with the concepts it has studied so far in the Gladio and ‘ClearSky’ series, it can only be reflected as the ‘other attractive form’ which symbolizes the numerical pessimism of the contemporary world. The format of the developed… Another way…
This concept represents a dark environment with atmosphere and space integrity within its borders. In the light of the entire primitive presentation of mind and perception, the necessary compositions are practiced many times within themselves. It renews itself within the same theme as nature within the framework of certain dynamics. The main quest here is the balance, which is always natural and plain. Repertoires such as a gray seashore, increasingly darkening days and a modular science texture with disdainful looks. Believes that the dark look, the unrest and the tension in the picture feed everyone on this axis and leaves us with scenes that we never want to happen. In other words, it questions the appeal of mechanics over the modern figure.
And in the light of these thoughts, we have many fine art components in life; so anything I find sincere and impressive can be a piece of art for me. Any piece created with an aesthetic vision and logic, such as my discs, can be open to interpretation. In fact, I worked with three discs * that I used in my past architecture career. These devices were always with me both during my visual and artistic progress and in my search for vision. Ultimately, I created a new conceptual phenomenon with the effects of Super Science from computer morphology, and I wanted to call it “quotes from space.”

* Two of my first devices are micro hdd, 2014/2015 (Super-science) and hdd 2011/2013.
I am currently working on “Wax” as a new metaphor.

This field reveals its own order and the effort to exist in many quotations about life, which we can mostly hold in nothing, and make references to the current problems of the world. Formally, we can see more amorphous forms and nature-inspired scenes here.

It all sounds very interesting, where do you get inspiration from, please share a secret!

I find the design point of view in the new era design approach quite productive and correct. It is very impossible to find what has been done today. But I can deliberately go over many perceptions that are open to further development, which we think are many keys and many designs that have been left unfinished. When we look at it from this point of view, there are many incomplete movements and experiments, and you can see the advanced disciplines that we really managed to develop and transform these works in your own collection as an artist. I think we can catch the originality in this way only. It is necessary to really go around and open all its doors in the works done in this past. I like to look at every theme from the past, and in the end, the art has a body. As contemporary artists, we can do this. Topics actually come from simple places. We know the tech enthusiasts of the 80s and modernism. We can reproduce them over and over, because none of them is actually over. The imagined robots of the past are now in our lives with drones and satellites. Another reason for looking at these is that figurative art is really boring. We focused too much on people and human view in art. Now why don’t we look at humans from the frame of robots?

As the basic units, if we want to take a look at the fact that this has not been remarkable as art, the 90’s computer game “Half-life” and the 60’s movie “The Time Travelers” themes. Or we can think of Clearsky in the real world exactly with Chernobyl. Or I can say that architecture is really well dressed for me, Le Corbusier. All I do is concentrate, think, and give them life on a canvas with the right parts. We are living or will live many lives that I have already drawn with the ‘New world order’ theory. Technology is also a form, in the future and now. I draw this.

Tell us about your studio, what kind of place is this, have you been working there for a long time?

The concept of studio is actually very important to me. I always try to keep the studio and production part connected. The reason for this is my belief that the right designs around the artist, the flexible and production-supported elements that it possesses, make the artist successful by creating the most correct environment. It is of great importance in music here. As much as possible, I try to listen to music from non-digital analog discs. These are the moments when I feel so much rich in spiritual sense. Everything in my studio should be touchable, like the nature of the painting. I also have a lot of light selection in the concept of light; I get support from point, general lighting, daylight, all of the right times. Light is very important for us in terms of correct color and balance. When we look at the general plan of my studio, it can be said that it tries to keep each unit of my life in one place in modular form. The reason is that I need each one in everyday life. A room with a computer, a bedroom, a kitchen, and a warehouse where I keep my paintings are examples. In this case, my living space and studio are quite spacious and comfortable. Also, right at the entrance of the door, there is a table where I make my sketches and paper paintings that I like to spend most of my time with. I hope my life always continues by spending time on this table.

The concept of time is a little different for me. The important thing is at what time I could keep the right visual connection in my mind. I do not want to choose a full time here, day or night, always has its own advantages, such as the advantage of natural light and the advantage of concentration. In this direction, the studios that I had in the past have similar characteristics and have the same feeling. All of these buildings, which are generally examples of classical architecture, have history in them and I think this historical texture feeds me.

I know that you sometimes do street art, is this something like a new experience?

Actually, I’m a studio artist. But I am always interested in different experiences. This is a historical process. Here are two different ways that draw me to this experience. First; Bauhaus is the state of the pictures sticking to the wall in architecture. Architecture and painting are intertwined here, sculptural and formal. The second is; I have a lot of friends street artists whom we spent a lot of time in the past. It would be really impossible not to paint the wall while spending time with them. The wall is an intimate object, a good way to open art to society and is usually permanent. Every segment of the audience experiences this on the street. It is also vulnerable. Can be damaged, destroyed. But even if we are destroyed, we continue to do so, and we feel it in every process we do. And indeed, if we are painting without permission, these illegal mural pictures are a very good relaxing method. I am working on these, which I want to realize in a cultural context in different countries that will have many plans after the epidemic period. Pictures are living things for me, they want to get oxygen and of course seeing the sun and traveling. I can do this in two ways; The first is exhibition halls, the second is the streets. When it comes to streets, it is not appropriate to attack every empty wall, but it is appropriate for me to identify the correct architect texture, a frame and work accordingly. Once that wall is determined, I will definitely paint it.

I have a memory about it; We painted a wall with another street artist while we discovered a wall while exploring. It had a marble surface and a beautiful texture. Upon my friend’s recommendation, I agreed to obtain permission from the property owner this time, and said to an old woman who owns the property that we want to paint the wall. Of course she did not allow. For a while I ignored this answer and waited for the woman to leave and I’ll paint it. Fortunately, I can catch the right time and paint it. But either way, I paint the wall that I chose with or without permission. Apart from that, I also have conceptual mural works that last for days in the gallery and I think these works add a lot of sincerity to my exhibitions, creating a more dynamic and lively interaction.

Could you describe your usual working day in the studio, what habits are inherent, what kind of music do you prefer?

My daily schedule is actually changing a lot. The most important things that determine my program in general are to gather my needs and the parts that should be in the studio. As a result, the concept of the day is divided into two, for me being outside and inside the studio. Frames, canvases, the right papers, paints, plaques are all things that I have to spare time for, just like other intellectual activities that I do while drinking coffee, walking or sketching in the studio or even sleeping. I usually try to relate to everything I see. I put everything together, and a balance is created by searching the logical one. In the meantime, I draw my sketches and I begin to set up the basics of the original work. For me, music is mostly electronic sounds. Because I can see and perceive these sounds as lines and stains. These sounds prepare me a ground and space, and they can attract me to intellectual production more quickly in the right place. The music I am talking about is often full of love, unmanned and outwardly themed themes for concepts and inner sounds. At this point, whenever possible, I try to select music that makes our minds around the world ordinary and makes us feel in reality. I am really happy and satisfied with my music and paintings in one area. The most important thing is to act according to my inner voice during the day and do what I want to do. Being able to put these interests together correctly during the day always makes me a very happy person and I consider myself a very free person.

You really intrigued us with your music, please share some tracks!

Yes, of course, I want to start with sounds as design music, Alva noto and Byetone. In design music, the sounds here are really close to the visuals. There are treble and bass that are perfectly balanced, such as lines and spots. You can check out Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto releases. And what I listen to as dark scene electronic; Carl finlow / Silicon scalley and Syncom data / Unit moebius, Silicon scally -Dark matter, Syncom Data – 0698.

Plans and goals for this year, are there already planned exhibitions?

Yes, I am currently planning a concept exhibition in Rome, but nowadays many plans may show flexibility due to extraordinary situations in the world. Another project I worked for next month was Kyiv, Pripyat or Eurasia. This would be a challenging project for me anyway, but these days there is a nature fire in the banned area and the level of available radiation will definitely change. I would really like to synthesize a lot of inventory and details that touch my paintings from Eurasian texture. At this point, the Soviet architecture, the utopian technological cities from the past and the fact that they have a story and that they are all nothing at the moment attract me very much. Apart from this, when the epidemic makes it safe, I am planning an exhibition in Korea in the future, to move forward on the experimental project I want to do on sound and visual relationship. I think that’s all for now.

>>To view the current online show of Eser Gündüz on Artsy follow the link<<

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