Kurdish Artists in Venice Biennale
Krossing/ PLANET KURDISTAN
7 June / 22 November 2009
Ilter Rezan talks about his work in Turkish with Kurdish subtitles ( Thanks to Hassan Ghazi for Translations).
Below is more info about Ilter's Art work:
I was born in Dersim a city in north-west Kurdistan. The Turkish government prohibited the Kurdish people's mother tongue, the elementary right to express their thoughts in an non-mutilated way. Because of the loss of their mother tongue the Kurdish people were not able to communicate. An elementary part of existence and culture got lost.
For me, there was only the language of art, because I could not use my suppressed mother tongue freely. Only through art I can express my thoughts clearly and authentically. Every language expresses a special point of view of the human mind. The only way to show an unaltered culture is to express it in the culture's mother tongue.
My work, which is a main aspect of my life, was massively influenced by sometimes shocking key events. At the age of seven I saw a Turkish soldier who got beaten by another soldier, he collapsed because of the hard drill and was beaten up again. Because of this, I early decided not to be a servant to a military system.
When I was 20 years old I fled to Germany. After the asylum process, some unskilled work, and years of deprivation, I studied at the free academy of fine arts in Freiburg from 1990 till 1994. After a progress of personal change, I want to bring some of the longing and the fantasy of my own ideology to Europe. I implement this through the mediums of painting, drawing, photographing and individual mixing techniques.
The subjects of my work are given by experiences like persecution, flight, exile and rootlessness. People have always been the focus of my work. To show them, I use a lot of artistic possibilities, but always connected to questions about the human existence. I don't want to accomplish any kind of mission, but I see myself as a link between the Orient and the Occident. The removal of the distance between the environment and my works has created new aspects. This is why my works challenge the viewer or try to catch his eye by the subversive strategies of a dialectical constructed architecture.
On the one hand I transform my ideas into works of art with my expressive artistry, works of art that are characterized by contrasts. I do not subordinate to any trends and I do not get bogged down in details either, because my works point out a synthesis of human existence.
On the other hand, my artistic activity is an experiment, with constantly changing parameters, or in other words, a constant innovation. Because of this, I am constantly searching for something new, to develop my current imaginative language. In my opinion, the strategic positioning of every single element or area on a piece of art is very existential. I think the importance of positioning in arts, is the same as it is for every person in its life.