“Interpreto la diversitat cultural amb igualtat de condicions”

Avui tiraré pel dret, perquè publicaré tal qual les he rebudes, les respostes a l’entrevista que vaig adreçar a Ahmet Günestekin. Artista turc, una de les propostes més engrescadores de les exposicions que havien de passar per la Marlborough de Barcelona. Ja la tenim aquí i les respostes a l’entrevista d’Aleix Art, també.

Gentilesa de la galeria Marlborough de Barcelona

Aspecta general dels quadres de Günestekin en la seva exposició individual  a Barcelona.

Centelles. La proposta de pintures-brodades i amb altres elements de Günestekin, és a la sala del carrer Enric Granados des de fa una setmana. Encara no l’he vist, pròpiament. Ja hi aniré. Però teníem “in mente” la peça vista l’estiu i també algunes de les fotografies, prou impressionants que ens han enviat de la galeria.  Per tot això vaig trobar estimulant poder adreçar-li algunes preguntes a l’artista, per aprofundir en el seu treball. Les preguntes les vaig ja adreçar directament en anglès i així m’ho han tornat. I passa que ens ha respost extensament i, deixeu-me confessar que, ara em fa mandra traduir-ho tot amb calma. Si us cal traduir-ho, de fet ja hi ha l’aplicació del Traductor de Google, annexada al blog, que us podrà donar un cop de mà.
Ahmet Günestekin és nascut a la localitat turca de Batman, el 1966. Per aquest blogger representa el cas d’un artista format en un context perifèric a Europa –encara que culturalment hi tinguin vincles-, que ha adoptat tècniques tradicionals locals, un univers d’arrel abstracte i gamma de colors amb possibles fonts amb els estils igualment impregnats de  tradicions culturals antigues. Em falta precisar –amb la visita- si és en tota tota l’obra, però Ahmet utilitza recursos de brodador, creant composicions molt complexes, algunes de les quals presents a la mostra de la Marlborough. La proposta de Günestekin  casa amb el perfil de l’art Occidental internacional, on hi ha interessos globals i l’abstracció és prou important. Però hi aporta un accent diferent i singular.  Agraïm a l’equip de la galeria Marlborough l’ajuda en la gestió d’aquesta entrevista que s’ha vehiculat entre teclats.
ALEIX ART.- Why do you have developed this kind of works, so close to tapestry? It is a kind of reference to a local art?
AHMET GÜNESTEKIN.- I was born in a geography where different languages, religions and identities coexisted. All the holy prayers, weddings and deaths became apparent along with their sounds and colors. I grew up with all these colors. I never felt that I belonged in a particular one, nor was obliged to choose one. This is the reason why I always prefer to interpret them on an equal basis, as the continuities of each other. Regarding multivocality as equality enabled my art to become multicultural as well. This is an immense acquisition to me.
A.A.- Do you see your work like another kind of painting?
A.G.- All the tales and oral culture I was exposed to since my childhood influenced the hue and pattern of the works I produced. I did not undergo an academic training; I found my own path instinctively, through trying and exploring.
Gentilesa de Marlborough
A.A.- How do you create your works?
A.G.- Mesopotamia, where I was born, and Anatolia, and the mythological creatures in Greek mythology, form my most important source of inspiration. My method of oil painting is a model that reveals itself in adopting embroiderer’s patient work that is to knit and adorn, and to make a drawing model out of it. My diverse uses of the light, the thickness of the lines and the colors, and their density pave the way to gross geometric forms and consequently ensure the viewers to imagine the mirror palace I had dreamed of. It also makes the viewer easier to see all the colors of the rainbow by giving them the sense that it is a spectrum that they see exploding, and it is the source that make them to imagine.
A.A.- Do you draw first a general idea or do you generate it making it-self?
A.G.-I always have initial thoughts in my mind at the outset, so from the beginning I know what my work is going to look like once I completed it.    
A.A.- Some-where your  kind of forms are descriptive like “narrative abstraction”. How does it works?
A.G.- I think “narrative abstraction” is a problematic term. I have been inspired by some narrations but only in the imaginary sense. And the image does not have a social equivalent. I mean the legendary images in my paintings are products of my imagination instead of being traditional motifs. If narrative abstraction means converting some myths into a visual language, my works have no connection with this process. Instead of producing a narrative abstraction I am producing images that recall the story.
A.A.- Have you notice if your kind of abstraction concept also belongs to others cultural tradition, like Islamic decorative works were non-figurative reference are more often?
A.G.- Most of my works look like abstract paintings, with a range of vertical stripes that are composed in a way that forges the impression of a figurative or abstract element that appears like a large watermark in the background. These works are emblematic of one aspect of my art. For instance the major sculpture in one of my exhibition, Million Stone, of block-like giant colorful letters that spell out Kostantiniyye, reveals the various names the city has been called since its birth: those names replete with the same religious symbols in relief found in the cycle of works that opened the show. The figure that is distinct and apart from the rest of the composition, and this again symbolizes the sun, which reigns supreme over the compositions. In those works, as well as generally in my art, a highly appropriate figure within this installation relates to the city’s cultural and religious history. My works, in this sense, represent three major religions those are Judaism, Christianity, and reveal cultural layers of the same geography those are invisible today.
A.A.- The kind of colors looks like to belong to the artist preference. But those they have any other reference?
A.G.-For me mythology is the source of all beginnings. Yedizim, as of a dualist religion, has first emerged in the ancient Mesopotamia where I was born, rests on the belief that people make distinctions between the good and the evil. The narratives of this culture and its peculiar imitations spontaneously offer precise choices. However, my aim is not only to convey messages, also I try to reveal my own mythology and truths, by expressing myself painting and narrating the diversity of the culture. My paintings are cultivated color palettes, and these palettes and the drawings which they have comprised in harmony are the base of my works. The drawings and the circles are combined in a one geometric structure, and the uses of the colors radically effect the eye, also provide a narrative, for the symbols and emotions put forward all these elements in the paintings.
A.A.- Why do you think your work it is shown in an international art gallery like Marlborough?
A.G.-I believe that only the local artworks become universal if and only they are anew themselves and contribute to the world art. My work is originated from an ancient civilization, where my own culture grew, and this is how art world became aware of my works. I do not adopt any traditional art practice performed so far. I perform my art without the influence of any traditional approaches. I think that it is my chance because I have an authentic style and my works drew Marlborough Gallery’s attention in the first place.
A.A.- Have you never seen Miro’s bigs tapestry works?
Miro is among the artists I very much admire his works. I like the joyful celebration of life and color in his works.  
A.G.- What is your next step?
Marlborough Gallery will display my new paintings for the next year in New York and I will be working on those then.   


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