Cemil Batur Gökçeer


De: Turkey
A : Beligium - France

Rearch for transforming Torun into a publishing collective

Arts visuels

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Pouvez-vous expliquer comment cette bourse a contribué à la réalisation de vos projets d'échanges artistiques et/ou de développement culturel local et/ou de promotion de la diversité culturelle ?

The travel that was supported by Cimetta gave me the opportunity to attend Polycopies; a book fair that took place in Paris during Paris Photo. In addition to that; me and an other artist from Turkey, Görkem Ergün, who has also recently made a book dummy, both of us were invited to make a presentation in Brussels in Recycle Art in the event series called Extra Fort. The first part of the travel was in Brussels, on 2nd of November we presented our photographic works, and shared our books with the people who participated our presentation. I had the chance to talk about my work, sold my book and saw people’s reactions, answered their questions. The second part of the travel was in Paris. Polycopies is a book fair bringing together publishers and the people who are interested in photobooks. Between 8th and 11th of November, we presented our books on a table in the fair along with other Turkish artists. In the fair there were a great diversity of publishers such as developed and experienced publishers from Europe, book shops from Germany and Belgium which concentrates on self-published and independent books and also initiatives from Greece, Romania, Russia and Peru. During the fair I had the chance to analyze a great diversity of book making in means of artistic approach and also its relation to the technical and economic conditions that the production takes place. The publishers from the countries which share a similar economic and political conditions like Turkey were inspiring in means of how production cooperated with the conditions they are in. I had the chance to examine some book examples that were inspiring for our future books in the sense that technical quality was not embracing technology (a top quality printing) but had a quality with its relation to the existing materials and the texnhiques . Meeting distributers and bookshops from Europe that concentrate on self-published and independent books also created a new possibility of distribution for the books that we will make in the future. I had the chance to inform them about our future plans, show them our existing books, and talk about possible cooperation. I have realized that there was a great interest for the works coming from Turkey. This interest was encouraging for the sustainability of our project, which promised an income that I wouldn’t estimate otherwise for the books to be published.

Qu'apportent l'échange, les réseaux et les contacts à l'international pour le développement de votre activité artistique ou culturelle ?

Torun in the past years played an important role in developing an independent art scene in Ankara. When it started a very strong inspiration came to us from Cyprus, a group of artists having their own space and sharing art there had significance on finding a space for our own. They had similar problems and have created a solution, and it was encouraging for that time. Meeting people who have similar struggles in different conditions, and understanding their approaches, seeing the solutions they bring to problems feel always fresh and inspiring. In addition to that creating a network from all around the world with people who are like minded, create a great resistance against the invasion of capitalism over international culture. By meeting people who struggle against it, and creating a network through them, encourages us in doing what we do without being isolated. This exchange also opens us up to a more dynamic economy in order to sustain what we do in local.

Pouvez vous élaborer sur l'apprentissage et les connaissances que vous avez obtenu / partagé à travers cette expérience ?

I had unique encounters. There were conversations that still echo, that reminds me how poor we are in the matter of understanding each other, how clichés and prejudgments in the dress of comprehension, are working before us, but still it is possible to talk through and over them, and reach a moment of understanding. I remember a moment when a book on our table, was interpreted as a part of the Anders Petersen effect on Turkish photography; which is a very easily pronounced cliché, we had a talk of 2 hours, I told him the story of how Anders Petersen influenced some young photographers, and what it was about, and how it then was translated to local, how other photographers got a position sometimes critical sometimes just distant to it. I had the chance to listen the conversations that took place in the tables beside ours. One German young publisher had an average of 5 sentences for each book that he kept on repeating. I respected his ability, but also realized that it would be never possible any book at our table. There was another table on the left, it was a big label made its move using design towards photography, I had the chance to meet the photographers who cooperated with the designer, the conversation with them was out of time and space, I had the chance to talk with the sales person of the publishing house, he was a black guy, that we couldn’t dance that time, but sure we will when we meet the next. But the designer was never there, the designer was in the bigger fair, Paris Photo, was somewhere else more important. So the books from the beginning were giving me a feeling of distance, just as the designer remain absent during the whole 4 days of the Polycopies. In Void’s table (Greek initiative that I have mentioned before) I have seen books that were very impressive in the sense that the production was low budget but the quality of the relation between the content and the design was really good. The contents were most of the time provocative and the design was simple but impressive. It has been one of the biggest inspirations that I have encountered during Polycopies. I have met an old friend, one of the ex-organizers of Joop Swart Masterclass – World Press Photo; a prestigious event that I had the chance to attended in 2012. I have tried to be a part of it for 5 years (being nominated but not being selected) and being the first Turkish to be selected was like a dream. On the contrary the experience became horrifying after realizing that there was great manipulation of truth, and an abuse of the efforts of the artists, and more over there was a silent agreement upon this even by the photographers in the sake of their career. It is not necessary to go in detail, but when I had the chance to see Rebecca, I had to chance to discuss this with her, a person from the institution was also sharing the same feelings with me. That was a relief in means of the depressed feelings that remained from those years. And I can say an anger which from time to time reappeared has settled down after that exchange.

Veuillez indiquer un lien vers votre travail actuel (site internet/facebook)

www.cemilbaturgokceer.com www.torun-web.com

Fonds Roberto Cimetta

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