-First of all, can you tell us about yourself?
Hello, I’m Yağmur Doğan. I am a young artist living and producing in Istanbul. I graduated from Yeditepe University in Plastic Arts and Painting in 2017 and Art Management in 2019. I continue my graduate studies in the field of “Feminist Art” at the same institution. If I need to briefly mention my working practice, I have produced numerous works in many disciplines since my student years. I still continue to produce works in many disciplines in order to express what I can tell in the best way possible. Most of my works are paintings, after that comes collages and installations. Now I’m getting ready to show up with photo and video trials.
-The 1Wall exhibition is based on the idea of providing artists with space and freedom of expression. 1What was your purpose in choosing the “Inherent” series for the wall? Why this series?
The series named “Inherent” that I chose for 1Wall actually highlights the recent selection from the paintings that constitute a large part of my work. In the series titled “Inherent”, I am in a transformation in terms of my paintings. I make micro-interventions and highlight these micro-interventions in order to experience them in our “Inherent” series. This series will meet with the audience for the first time. Normally, I would create backgrounds in my works in the form of a single blotch. But with this series, I aim to create a new relationship with the layer-by-layer stain transitions by adding the line to the background. With the movement of this line, I actually plan to create a new interaction with space. The process is exciting.
-Assuming that this series questions self-perception while producing his work, how does it hold a place in the production of self-concept?
I can say the concept of “self” is the root state of my work. The conceptual construction of my work is based on the self. For me, the self is a very variable and multi-layered structure. At this point, Erving Goffman is a very important reference point in terms of my work. In his work titled “Presentation of Self in Daily Life”, he defines the world we live in as a theater stage and people as actors performing multiple performances. He mentions that our selves are reshaped every time through these performances. Using the concept of “self”, he explains how the individual reconstructs himself, how he re-presents himself, how he re-introduces strategies for this in case of encountering others. It is exactly at this point that my views and Erwin Goffman’s work fit together like a puzzle piece. The fluid state you see in the portrait silhouettes captured in my paintings aims to offer a glimpse of our ever-changing self. When I talk about the constantly changing self, I also refer to a de-identification because if we create an identity for ourselves through the self, and if we have a constantly changing self, we are in a de-identification. That’s why there is actually anonymity in my paintings. You cannot approach as an individual. A silhouette… It does not have a specific portrait, it does not have a specific texture like that.
-You choose not to name your works. Can you talk about the reflection of this choice on the identity of the works?
Actually, I am not giving names on purpose. I have works named in different series produced in different disciplines, but my paintings are not among them. The reason for this is that I don’t want to stay static by giving a name while trying to bring out a variable self. Frankly, I don’t want to direct the audience with a name because I care about the interaction. Most of the time, when they approach the pictures without their ideas, they can find a piece of themselves at this point. Also, the paintings have a reflective feature due to the material they use as a structure, and by creating a glass-like effect, the viewer is also included in it. So I don’t want to restrict it by giving a name, as I think the interaction is very important.
-We see that the figures you paint cease to have faces and a place in the background. Can you talk about the reason for this situation?
I do not want to include the works in a different world by drawing space and including it in that space. The works are in that place with you at that moment and they have an effect as if they were experiencing that transformation at that moment. I do not want to take it out of this. Of course, in the following process, as I said, my paintings can take place in a different space in a state of transformation. But for now, they are progressing like this. If we come to portrait silhouettes, the reason why we do not see a portrait clearly is related to the self-concept behind it. All that changes is my focus. Since I focus on it, you do not see a detailed portrait, they are just in silhouette.
-Considering the pandemic situation, can you talk about your future projects? How has the situation evolved for you?
Pandemic is actually a period where we are used to living in slow motion with many difficulties. It is completely an age of uncertainty, you make plans as much as you want, aim to make projects, unfortunately, situations do not progress the way you want. Therefore, there are many projects I am considering in the near and distant future, but I may prefer to talk about the near and the things I can control. I started a new project series. It is a completely process-oriented project which focuses on extinction of an endemic plant species. I aim to realize a new production process by trying new disciplines through this. Apart from that, of course, the production of the paintings and collages that I continue in the background continues. I have a master’s thesis, on the one hand, I make a great effort to finish it and I am working hard to make it an important resource. But there is one subject that I am very excited about. Together with my two friends, we are forming a group that I can call a collective structure and we are planning to realize a production together. At the end of this, we aim to realize a project. This will be a new formation and it will try to look at contemporary art from a different perspective.
Thanks for the interview.