A Painter Who Breaks The Mold

Ahmet Güneştekin is a painter who discovers colors hidden deep in history. We talked about his show, which opens in november, with this great artist, who expresses in a few shades of color what a novelist takes hundreds of pages to say.

Can you tell us about your project ‘Yüzleşme’ (Confrontation)?

Starting from an awareness of the artist’s responsibility to history and therefore to mankind, for the last two years I have employed in my works a language we could call political. Yüzleşme is an interactive work that treats, through a cause-effect relationship, the need for confrontation that is felt now in the ongoing struggle between man and nature and man and man. By the emphasis it makes, Yüzleşme represents both itself and the overall concept of the show. As well as being interactive, its monumental 300 cm x 800 cm dimensions, its 1,500 parts all made up of different designs, and its 2-ton weight add quantitative aspects to the work.

Which works in the show are going to amaze us?

I have to confess I’d be sentimental if I said all of them. There are of course going to be some special works at Antrepo that excite me more, even amaze me. The first that comes to mind is the work called Paradox. There is also Keepers of the Kaaba. This is a work that brings together the shiny black stone, al-Hajar al-Aswad, on the Kaaba wall and the Seven Sleepers who are said to have slept for hundreds of years in a cave. Besides these, I also have video-art works in this show for the first time.

Where will the project be traveling outside of Turkey?

It’s going to go on world tour after Antrepo No. 3. It will be in Erbil in April, at the Venice Biennale in June and then, following some shows in Berlin, it will continue its journey at museums in five major regions of France.

The show, titled Yüzleşme, starts at Antrepo No. 3 in Istanbul Karaköy on November 6. Yüzleşme will be mounted in a 4,000-square-meter space.

The design of the exhibition space is due to Dara Kırmızıtoprak. The project is a collaboration by Dr. Johannes Odenthal, Director of the Berlin Akademie der Künste, and such respected figures and pioneering institutions from the art world in Turkey as Galeri Baraz, Galeri Artist, Art Collection and Mim Art.