Everything Starts Out With A “Why Not?” Şakir Gökçebağ

“Situations going against the grain have always been my field of interest. Art presents us different worldly alternatives and saves from monotony and ordinariness. And I do the same thing by changing the objects around me and questioning their potential capabilities. Everyting starts out with a ‘why not?’

To begin with, could you please tell us a little about yourself? How di it first begin your interest in arts? How did this interest turn out to being educated and becoming a professional artist?

It all began during my childhood. At times which I cannot rememberi they say I was good at drawing. I was always busy with drawings, objects and various creative things during my leisure times. Then I wanted to study Fine Arts and finally I came to Istanbul and my whole professional journey began. After graduating from the Fine Arts, I worked as an academician at the faculty for long years. And after the year 2000, I continued the same job in Germany. For the time being, I’m living in Hamburg, but trying not to neglect Istanbul.

In your own approach to arts, you combine stylistic and social criticisms with humor. Could you please tell us about this?

There are different ways people express themselves. My strong point is “style”. For me, this is not enough by itself, unless it combines with consept. It all happens by itself. Situations going against the grain have always been my field of interest. And humor is a main element of this opposition. Arts presentus different worldly alternatives and saves from monotony and ordinariness. And I do the same thing by changing the objects around me and questining their potential capabilities. I produce ways of visualization and then materialize them. The ordinary objects around us could be the despatcher of the creative worlds. Everyting starts out with a “why not?”

To make good work, do you think one needs talent or a very strong education is necessary?

In my opinion, both are necessary. One completes the other.

Do you have your own specific style or do you create according to your mood?

I do my work according to my mood in my own specific style. I focus on and around different materials and themes from time to time. But there may also be whimsical times.

Who are the names you like following the works of from Turkey and from the world?

Since artists do not always create the same way and the same quality, I prefer more focusing on the works rather than the names. I’m trying to follow Turkey and the world; however not as much as it should be, but as much as it can be.

When we talk about ordinary objects being installed in an extraordinary way, you are the one and only name which comes to minds. How did it first come up the idea of creating works of art with the installation method?

Seeing the same visions around me bothers me a lot and it arouses in me, the will to make changes. Although I began with drawing, I have also done worls like object installation. Rigjt now it is one of the most daily routines of our lives to change the environment you live in; in 1990’s, it all began with joining exhibitions and continued with increase.

How about your woking techniques?

I’m content with what’s happening around me in my daily life. I’m one of those lucky people who have found what he has searched for right besides himself. I immediately scratch the things coming to my mind on a piece of paper. I may even make simulations ifnecessary. The ideas piling up form a huge repertoire for me. If there happens to be an exhibition, I prefer to create unique projects specifically for that place. Therefore I need to see the place; if not, the photos of the place I should see. During the creative phase, I get help from my archieved ideas. It takes about 5-10 years for those ideas to wait to mature up for an exhibition. There’s always the possibility of me making unexpected and sudden changes until the last moment at an exhibition. And finally, I do not like repeating my old works.

What are you up to recently? Which projects are you working on?

I have 2 books, indeed one of them has just been released. I learned that this is an illness.. Now that I can plan a new book project. There are my exhibitions constantly and the materials I use are always piling up.

Could you tell a little about ‘Adas’ ?

Adas is a new place. Quite outside of the well-known places of İstanbul, but at the same time that much inside Istanbul. It’s in a way like ‘Baksı Museum’. I had named ‘Baksı’ as the ‘materialized utopia’ when it first opened. Places like Adas are gifts for Istanbul. Especially during these tough times..