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2020.06.16
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Artists’ web talk session with General director KITAGAWA Fram vol.4 ‘Small changes in the daily life of the artist’

This is the forth session of the series “Artists’ web talk session with General director KITAGAWA Fram”.

We have invited Ayşe Erkmen from Turkey/Germany, an internationally acclaimed artist whose works have been exhibited in many places including Ichihara Art×Mix as well as Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale. With us, she shared some ideas that are unique to her experience of travelling around the world.

Participants:
Ayşe Erkmen, General Director KITAGAWA Fram

 

Director Fram Kitagawa (hereafter Director):
How have you been doing in this difficult situation?

 

Ayşe Erkmen (Hereafter Ayşe):
While I currently live in Berlin (Germany), I was initially planning to go to Istanbul (Turkey). But my flight has been cancelled two days before the departure and Germany closed almost all its borders subsequently. So, I have been in Berlin for this whole time.

It is somewhat cynical. People from Germany used to be able to visit other countries easily while many have to acquire visas to enter Germany and there are too many restrictions. Now that Germans cannot cross the borders freely, it might have become more equal in a way (of course it would never be the same experience though).

As almost all the exhibitions scheduled around this time have been postponed or cancelled, I am using my time to learn how to bake cakes, scones, bread and so on through YouTube videos, which I always wanted to but never had a time for. I think this is like the basics of life.
This way of learning feels telepathic and it is replacing art for me.

Other than that, I have been making drawings to reflect on what you want to do further.
Also, I am working for one exhibition coming up in a month time and taking small walks outside.

It is like an old time when we were living a life. And you wonder why we had to fly so much. I remember when I first visited Echigo-Tsumari, I stayed in Japan for one night and flew back immediately. Now, I am thinking to take a flight only for most urgent reasons.

 

 

Director:
How is the city like in Berlin?

 

Ayşe:
Berlin, especially the area I live in, has been quite empty but it is getting a little bit more crowded because the shops are open again.
It shows that, after the situation is settled down, the world will be somehow going back to normal even though I think it should change its way of life.
I saw lines in front of luxury boutiques and that made me feel that people will return to consumer attitude.

Also, I have started watching films every night. New films, old films. I can share some of my favorites.

  

Director:
That would be great, thank you. Recently I have been doing the same. This morning, I enjoyed a film about the life of French singer Édith Piaf, ‘La Vie en rose’.

  

Ayşe:
My recent favorite is ‘Montparnasse et Levallois’ by Jean-Luc Godard. I will send you a list of my recommendations later.

 

 

Director:
What is your plan in the near future?

 

Ayşe:
I will have an exhibition in South of Germany in July. At the very beginning I was planning to show new works and old pieces from Istanbul, but I changed all the plan and concepts to gather the existing works from Berlin.

Although my activity and transportation of the works is still limited, it would be a good opportunity to try my possibilities by doing what I can do under these circumstances.

 

 

Director:
Anything else in your mind?

 

Ayşe:
As I neither have a car nor a bicycle, I can only go somewhere by foot. In this unusual situation, I have been thinking about my life and my creation as an artist. Also, I am drawing a lot of sketches of birds.

 

Director:
In the last session, Mikala from Australia told me that she was also working on a small project about birds.

 

Ayşe:
I started to observe the birds on the tree through the window. I am more concerned with small changes such as, say, if there is a bird in the morning, or if the bird has learned how to fly.

 

Director:
I am very glad to talk with you again and to know you are living in peace.
I heard that a Japanese survey about what you spend more time after the virus outbreak, showed that people seem to be more engaged in ‘Interaction with family’ and ‘Cooking’.

Once the situation is settled down, please come and stay in Japan for more than a day [laughter].
I think everyone will welcome you and your amazing works.

 

Artists’ web talk session with General director KITAGAWA Fram
vol.1 ‘Hope artists have in the midst of the coronavirus disease outbreak’
vol.2 ‘Communication between two distant places’
vol.3 ‘Beyond borders’
vol.4 ‘Small changes in the daily life of the artist’