– First of all, can you tell us about yourself?
I am Baysal Yüksel, a visual artist. I have been producing art professionally since 2006. I started my education by studying Sociology at Bilgi University. Since I studied sociology, I am interested in the society. That’s why I especially touch on the society-individual conflict in my artistic works. Then I studied painting at Marmara University in master’s degree. This education led me to adopt an approach that combines both visual arts and social sciences.
– You said that you created the exhibition based on your experiences about brain fog/mind fog. What is mind/brain fog?
Mind fog, or brain fog, is actually a condition. It can also occur due to isolation. It can occur for many different reasons. Mind fog is defined as: It refers to the state of not being able to reach thoughts, seeing a fog in front of one’s mind, not being able to see ahead, not planning, not taking a step just like in foggy weather.
– Can we say that the exhibition emerged with the pandemic?
We can definitely say that the exhibition emerged with the pandemic. Because the pandemic period was difficult in terms of not knowing what is in front of us, and then after seeing what is in front of us, it gave me an experience that was constantly repeated every day, and this was an incredibly difficult experience for me. The fog series was a series in which I conveyed the mind fog that I experienced myself. Since I have a different neurological structure, I am hyperactive, so I need a different stimulus system from the normal mindset. I have incredible difficulty doing the same things over and over again, and I am in great pain. That’s how it is for me in terms of everything related to everyday life. The pandemic has turned into an environment where we are completely imprisoned in daily life. Or at least it did for me. Because as a person working from home, it was a point where I could say that I was never exposed to the outside environment, the stimulus was extremely low, and I felt incredibly useless in terms of my work. Because we have passed and are passing such a point that all humanity, the whole world, was not in a position to think about art and culture. We were in much, much more important, more difficult stuff. These things came out as we went through this foggy situation. I entered a period where I couldn’t get out of bed for days and couldn’t start anything. Especially in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, I was a little happier, it was something new. We were looking at what to do, but then it started to get monotonous and I had great difficulties. I transferred them in this series. This is a series where I also think about how I can get out of these difficulties, in fact, he conveys these thoughts. Because I have a mindset for problem solving. If I can’t solve the problem and get out of the business, I can’t continue to exist. The series, which started in black and white, is starting to shift towards pastel colors.
I would like to talk a little about the techniques I use. In this series, I especially talked about the fog situation, emotion and experience of brain fog related to color transitions. At the beginning of the series, black-white-gray tones are dominant. As you go down, the colors in pastel tones gradually begin to progress. I specifically used abstract elements. To indicate the fog phenomenon, the points that we cannot reach in the magic. At the point when we remove the fog, I still say it from my own point of view, and I say it in terms of my relatives who shared this experience with me. It was the hopeful point of this series for me to see that our selves are still there below, and that our goals and dreams are still there. I wanted to use ink while preparing the series. I wanted to use the ink on the canvas. I wanted to see that fluidity. It seemed like I could best describe the transitions created by that mist with ink, where you can’t see where you end up in your mind as you go from one thought to another. That’s why I used ink on the canvas, using my own experimental approach as well. For this, I made the canvas to be ink-permeable with a special material, and then I started the application. It has been an interesting process for me because normally I move very quickly when I am in production. I produce fast. But especially in the last year, I’m talking about 2020, I’ve had an incredible speed dream. It was a different experience for me as an artist. I cannot say that it was an experience that I am satisfied with, but it was definitely a period that would reflect on my future works and thinking. I slowed down incredibly at my own pace. I finished this series thinly in 3-4 months, which is a very different point for me. Completing a job in 3-4 months, going through that fog, and trying to overcome that fog at the same time, which I would normally be able to complete in 2 weeks at my own pace, formed the whole of this experience.