YUSUF GÜNLER x ART UNLIMITED

I think the material has its own knowledge and it accompanies you in your production process. Technique here is a means of expression that we use to convey artistic ideas. I believe that a balance needs to be established between these.

Let’s start by talking about your artistic journey. You graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Photography Department. What inspired you to become an artist and how did you start making art?

Obviously, it is not possible to talk about a single thing in this regard, but the most important process that I can call a turning point is the period in the atelier where I studied painting. I was interested in photography and painting before, but the education I received at the atelier and the art and artist books in the atelier library were the most important factors that pushed me to think about art. I came across many different artists in that library and as I became more interested, I realized that I spent more time on this subject. The works and life stories of the artists pushed me to think about the relationship of these works with other branches of art. It was during this period when I started to produce photography and painting that I realized the importance of producing and being in constant production. Later, as I gained the habit of producing, I embraced the space for thinking and experimentation that they provided me. Studying art at university helped me gain new ideas and experiences for my production areas by providing me with the opportunity to meet different workshops and materials.

How does your local culture and environment influence your artistic work? Do the materials and techniques you use in your art find an echo in this interaction network?

The social, cultural, or geographical dynamics of the place in which I exist naturally influence my individual experiences, which may indirectly influence my work. The contact of my developing ideas with my environment and culture contributes to my experiences. However, these experiences, which are active in my thoughts on art and humanity, do not have a direct impact on my productions and technique.

By adding or subtracting from the photograph, you recreate the images that appear in your mind on the photographic print and create a new image representation. How does this process from photography to pictoriality evolve in your mind?

Sometimes it’s a scene I imagine in my mind, sometimes it’s a sketchy visualization of an object or a sentence. These ways of thinking often go hand in hand. I take a photograph of this visualization in my mind by focusing on the image that may emerge at the end of the printing process. First, I design the images I will create by taking sketches. Then I move on to the process of photographing these images. Since the technique I use in these works is an experimental printing technique, the process itself contributes to both me and my way of production. The experimental aspect of the printing process, which I can express as positive and negative, can sometimes cause ideas to evolve during printing.

The works we saw at Mamut Limited also have a previous series. These series seem to be separated from each other… Can you tell us their stories?

Actually, the series are not separated in terms of subject matter, but after each series, there are slight changes in the internal fiction. The first series included different techniques and different ways of presentation. In the Mamut Limited selection, there is a selection from the technique I have worked with for longer periods of time and a selection of new works I have produced with this technique.

Your technique is gum bichromate printing on paper. How does this technique work?

Gum bichromate printing is an old photographic printing technique. First, photosensitive photographic emission is applied to a receptive surface such as paper or similar. This surface is then combined with the photo negative. It is a type of printing where you need sunlight to expose the image.

For you, is producing a successful work about personal satisfaction or recognition from the art world? Why is that?

Of course, I care a lot about the feedback and dialogues on my work. These are important elements that motivate me. But producing a successful work is about personal satisfaction for me. Because I don’t think that the only dynamic of production is the issue of appreciation. I take care to ensure that my work does not harbor any concerns that come from the outside and affect its formation. In the art world, which is constantly changing and will continue to change, the view of art and the issue of appreciation may show the same variability. I can say that I do not see these variables as the basic dynamics of my production.

How do you balance the artistic and technical aspects of photography to achieve the results you want?

I think the material has its own knowledge and it accompanies you in your production process. Technique here is a means of expression that we use to convey artistic ideas. I believe that a balance needs to be established between these. While establishing this balance, I think it is necessary to keep the communication between artistic concern and technique on a fine line. At this stage, my starting point is shaped by the artistic. Technically, I try to renew myself, improve the existing ones and leave them open to learning.

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