2016 Interview / Siyah Beyaz Newspaper
  Gallery Siyah Beyaz, May 2016

Siyah Beyaz Art Gallery unites the audience with Seçil Erel's exhibition named "Bird's Eye View". Seçil Erel, in the pursuit of capturing or attaining the true life once again or connection with the space, searches for new dimensions. Her paintings create new spaces and offer systems by reshaping the restrictions in the structure and overlapping of layers. The artist, by visually analyzing the paths in her own memory, and by taking architectural plans out of context, transforms them into a part of her production.

SİYAH BEYAZ : How did your relationship start with Siyah Beyaz? 

SEÇİL EREL : Everything began when a collector of mine introduced me to Siyah Beyaz two years ago. Right after, dear Sera Sade visiting my studio, we began to work together and the idea of this exhibition was formed that day.

S.B. : How does your production process of your work, which creates a perception of a motion that is successive and come across one after the other or side by side with different techniques, take shape?

S.E. : In my work, technicality and process are crucial elements.  Pieces of various techniques are formed out of something that begins within the process. Respectively canvas, papers, those with lights installed, color codes etc... I envelop my canvas paintings with overlapping layers. And some parts of these layers, according to the installation of the composition, are again enveloped as flush seamed, with vertical and horizontal and lately with organic movements. I execute this process using masking band. One after another, I paint with oil color. In order to paint each layer, I mix tons of colors. When this is done, I remove the masking tapes on the surface. Until the outcome, I keep applying this method again and again. I leave the tapes, I remove to dry and then I use them once again for papers and paintings with lights. They are aligned side by side on a very thin paper. In addition to all of these, my color book , which is displayed with its video as a part of the exhibition, shows the color codes of my paintings. In my color book that I first started in 2012, in a controlled manner, I point side to side every color in the palette that I prepared while working the canvas, in order for me to remember the previous layers and see the outcome. Nowadays, this color coding thing seems to be continued outside the book as well. Besides the production processes of these two different techniques, as a matter of fact, they complete each other, even though they seem to be different in terms of context and structure. The compositions that sit on top of areas, which I prepared by fictionalizing with analytical thinking, are in existence by letting themselves slide in the moment in the process of painting with colors on top of another. In the whole physical, mental and intuitional togetherness, they let themselves into the intuitivism of mind control. For my works that are produced in series, I, for every series, pre-study for form, color, size and topic and then I go into production. The relationship between my pieces and spaces and their intervention to the space is one of the basic topics that interests me. In my pain- tings, the experience penetrates into the work aimed at my subjective stories that needs to be read encoded. In addition to the painting, to examine as a whole, it helps to reach out to my subjectivity as an artist.

S.B. : As an artist, who participated in artist residency in Switzerland and symposium and workshops in different countries like Germany, Moldova, what has remained in your mind from all of these experiences of yours?

S.E. : Participating in these programs, travelling, getting together with artists, getting around, enable me to come across identical and non identical people in various places of the world and maximize my point of view. These situations, experiences and what I came across in those places, made me overthink about space - time-  human relation,  existence and belonging that I've been thinking for a long time. 

S.B. :Could you talk about your exhibition called "Bird's Eye View" that will take place in Siyah Beyaz Gallery between 13.05.2016 – 15.06.2016 and the creation process of this exhibition and its narrative relation with the space?

S.E. : Like in previous period, my exhibition is primarily based on topics like the idea of space, existence, places and belonging. However, this time, with the difference of the places that I went and that I'm not stable. People, animals and even plants are seeking for space. This topic sounds very interesting to me. Even though I had the desire to travel someplace else and experience that place since my childhood, it proceeded from the fact that I won a seat around where I was born and I just cannot find peace in my own space. While trying to feel belonged, losses and spaces blocking the existence really bothered me. In the past period, by benefitting from the plans of my houses and studios, I brought the matter of existence into the surface by developing the method of mapping. After that period, I traveled a lot. This time around, I started to transfer the places that I went and establish a relationship with myself, into my work. My paintings started to change in terms of visuals and context, the feelings and emotions that become varied with what I've left for myself from everywhere that has been went, is what I care about. Instead of being stuck in my own space, I experientially had trips that enable me to discover the beauty of floating in time. And I have realized that I am free when I step outside of my own space and I look at my own life from different perspectives. This situation affected me the same way it affected my working principle. The "Bird's Eye View" that I specifically created for my exhibition in Siyah Beyaz, has been the new reality and the story of fictional flow that is based upon the true entity of the world. 140 x 840 centi metre canvas painting is created with tens of layers on the top of the other and places that I went, the trips that I took in 2015 and temporal summation. Respectively, it has been created with the city plans of Ankara, Dusseldorf, Basel, Büyük Ada, Bodrum, cities of Switzerland; Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchatel, Bern, Zurich, the part that includes Basel and lastly Köln in Germany, from Dusseldorf to Holland. In fact, these places are not of capital importance other than the fact that they are just the places that I visited. Within the scope of the exhibition, besides this work that offers a new suggestion for a world map, there are canvas, paper and paintings with light, color book and its video and lithographs. 

S.B. : The artistic director of Serpentine Gallery Hans Ulrich Obrist remarks on the relationship between the artist and the curator: " In fact, every artist is a fine curator and should be. This creates an effective synergy." What do you think about this? According to you, what kind of dynamics run a relationship between the artist and the curator in Turkey?

S.E. : I absolutely agree. When preparing projects and solo exhibitions in particular, artists need to work using the deductive method. This is one of the most important basis of curatorial approach, I think. Especially in group projects, curatorial point of view is very important. Personally, I take action by predicting the context, technicality of my exhibitions and its relation with the space. As for my production and research of non exhibitions, I think of my work always in series. I try to mention many points that are related to content, visuality and technicality.

S.B. :What are your predictions about the development and change of contemporary art in the next ten years?

S.E. : Contemporary art excites me so much.  To understand, learn, observe, follow and produce it as an artist is really exciting.. It interacts with the daily necessities of a person and it pushes you to perceive the world, bridge the gap and move those coming from the past to the forward. The rapid increase in the early 2000s, which abreast of technology and speed, excited the whole environment. And our country too. As with many positive happenings, there were many negative ones as well. I think that this will change in the next period. Everyone will slowly proceed towards the better by taking the right steps and grab the orders of the day. I think that the originality, sincerity and a little bit of slowness will be in sight.

S.B. : Can you inform us about your future exhibitions and projects?

S.E. : I would like to focus on my thoughts that are formed in my mind, based on my exhibitions of this year and experiences. The relationship of space and time connection of the production of the artist with technicality and context,  the intervention of work with space, modularity, meronymy attract my attention. My solo exhibition that will take place in Milli Reasürans Art Gallery in 2019 really excites me. Other than that and till then, my abroad programs, which became intense in the past few periods, will continue. A very busy and hectic period is waiting for me. There are projects of residency and exhibitions in a few different countries and cities.