Introducing: Sinasi Gunes
Turkish artist Şinasi Güneş in conversation with Ephemereye.
“As a concept, it is human who adds meaning to art. In this case, art is something that exists together with human being and is something that [will disappear with] the death of human being. Today, in the world imposed by global capitalism, people and art are dying together. Since our body is controlled with new technologies in our daily lives, we are living the last times [as] the independent human race. Those with knowledge, and others… Humanity is struggling with climate change, nuclear war threats, migration and epidemic diseases. And will continue to.
The New World. Şinasi Güneş, 2021.
In this new digital age, the family needs to be protected and individuals should be get rid of consumption pathology. This is only possible with a healthy society, where even eating is an art. If we become a society that takes control of its own future, we can get out of this vortex. All we need is to get rid of our ego and be in unity and solidarity. For this, the society must have an organized structure. As a matter of fact, the welfare of social life will be realized by the society having a particular artistic culture. With independent people and art!”
I was born in 1968. I live and work in Istanbul. I have graduated of Fine Art Faculty, University of Marmara. My works across different disciplines such as installation, painting, video art, mail art, sculpture, photography and conceptual art. Actively I am exhibiting my works in international, national, and regional museums and galleries, I also curated audio-video art festival “Obsession” in 2005.
E: How did you get involved with video art?
ŞG: I started to film in 1999. At the beginning, I was interested in 8mm films, cameras and projectors. While I was assembling the 8mm films, I began to produce video films.
E: How everything has changed (or has it?) In these conditions, what about the work you make now, what preoccupies you most now, when compared to your previous dominant themes?
ŞG: During this period, many people gained weight due to unhealthy diet and inactivity. Health checks were delayed. Therefore, diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases were triggered. Fear and stress of the virus; increased psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. The pandemic negatively affected interpersonal relationships, especially between spouses. An insecure environment was created for artists as well. Therefore, productions based on these themes have priority. In this process, I also made productions on such themes.
E: Are you finding these conditions very hard? Or is it a welcome break to be able to concentrate solely on work, rather than do other, money-making things?
ŞG: The conditions are certainly difficult in the pandemic process. It is also difficult to produce art in this psychological tension. Whereas, new ideas and creativity emerge in moments of relaxation. In these difficult days, every production contributes to [psychological] relaxation.
E: Has your concentration intensified or fallen away?
ŞG: Motivation has decreased. Of course, in this process, the number of my artistic works, which should have increased, on the contrary, decreased.
E: Is making work therapeutic or challenging nowadays? It is different from before.
ŞG: Certainly more therapeutic than in the past.
E: Do you think being an artist makes you more resilient in these times? Meaning that those who have regular jobs, salaries etc. are now stuck at home with very uncertain futures ahead, as you always have.
ŞG: Being an artist keeps you alive and energetic. This alleviates the process of isolation.
E: How do you think the role of the arts may change post-Lockdown?
ŞG: Like everything else, art will continue to go digital. It will be a battle between the virtual and the physical. It seems that many of the artists who do not use the new technologies will perish.
E: Do you think this whole event will alter the way we engage with the world afterwards?
ŞG: I believe that artists who develop resistance to this current digital new world order will produce more political works for collective artistic production and socio-economic solidarity practices.