begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

 

Talk between Banu Cennetoglu (BAS/Bent) Istanbul and Judith Raum, October 2008



 
Judith Raum: What does the book as a medium mean to you as an artist? Which special qualities does it have that fascinate you?

Banu Cennetoglu: I work with photography and books. The reason why I started working with books was that I thought of photography always as a very problematic medium and discipline in itself. What do photographs say when they are detached from their original context? You take a photograph in a specific situation and then put it in another context - what happens there, and what is the relationship between the audience and that particular document.
I had always been thinking about these things in terms of the photographic format. So about 15 years ago, I started to make my own books. I got interested in the idea to compile a series of photographs, sometimes originally belonging together, sometimes coming from completely different sources, and bind them together with the same back, like a hand-bound book. I forced them to exist together, and the only way to take them apart is to actually tear apart the binding. I was interested in that kind of relationship. What was also important is the stiff format, which is at the same time very free inside, and how each sequence gets in a relationship with other sequences - when I say sequence I mean page. There is a responsibility for the artist to think about the before and the after. Compared to a normal wall exhibition, the relationship with space, the relationship between each photograph becomes something else. In the case of a book you become responsible for each element that makes the book, using it like an exhibition space. I consider a book to be a work of art, we are talking about artists’ books here, not some kind of documentation or illustration. What happens between the photographs, what happens between the cover and the back cover, the size, the smell, the thickness of the paper and so on. So maybe working with books was a bit about the idea of escaping from doing exhibitions in gallery spaces or museums or in any kind of more spatial experience. I started to think about what happens if the book becomes an exhibition space.

I slowly developed this idea, not only formally but also conceptually, at the same time thinking about the relationship between the book and its content and the book and its audience. I found it extremely provocative what a book can trigger for its public. When you enter an exhibition space, the public is generally very passive, with the exception of some specific exhibitions. Visiting an exhibition is pretty much based on contemplation and a passive way of watching and observing. It is very time and space specific. An artist book offers different possibilities. First of all, it has to be held by its public. So there is a very intimate relationship, which is at the same time a very active one. The person has to hold it, has to try to find a way to relate with the work and look through it in a way he or she wants to. At the same time, despite this relative freedom, it is also a very imposing gesture by the artist. So you have a strange negotiation between this very imposed, structured format to this very.. once the book is out, the audience is free to do whatever they want with it, and the art work is completely freed from any institutional structure. People can look at the book or experience the work when they are in bed, in the bathroom, a month after it was printed, six years after - there are all these changeable elements in it which I like.
I think they add to the meaning of the work, which you cannot control anymore.
The public or the audience or the viewer start to make their own meaning, starting from this very deliberately structured work of art.

So when you did your first books, was this decision to create your own exhibition space in and through the book based on the fact that there was a certain difficulty to be represented in other exhibition spaces, was it some kind of oppositional move?

Both. I personally love books. It has always been like that in my life. I like to touch them, I collect them, books are like a fetish for me. I also collect books that I am not able to read. But at the same time, as I said, I was trying to find a way that I felt comfortable with when working with photography. I am not very interested in this normal way of displaying art, framing photographs and putting them on the wall. When I work with and exhibit in exhibition spaces I try to deal with the space itself, instead of trying to act as if the space didn’t exist, as if it just consisted of white walls that are supposed to carry my work. Maybe I found it easier to start with the space a book offers because I could handle it better.

Handle really in the sense of holding it in your hands.

Yes. I am a kind of control freak. I was able to control the material more clearly, I was able to see everything like from a bird’s eye view. I am also not good at 3-D imagining. Books are 2-D. I felt comfortable with it. Then there is freedom in the circulation. You can just give it to anyone. When you go back to the artists’ book history, it is a very interesting medium. It was never really consumed by art history. It has existed since the end of the 18th century, which is a long time. It took very different forms and meanings over the years, depending on the geographical context that people worked in and on the period of art history. Working with artists’ books always happened parallel and was at the same time never completely integrated. So for me this is the reason why it survived. Otherwise, it would just have its time, disappear and become a period of art history, like any other movement. For some people it is a very important medium, other people do not know that it exists.

And why do you think does art history ignore artists’ books as a medium, why is it not really treated by art history?

I think art history can not really define it. Because it changes. At the beginning it was very elitist. It was a collaboration between French painters and writers.
The authorities who make art history - of course it is always very biased, all Western art history is always built on...

...what is recorded and what is deemed valuable etc...

Exactly. And in that sense it managed to always stay on the side but never on the margin. I think it is interesting that the artist’s book always developed parallel. During the conceptual period it was something else than during the post-conceptual period or the Fluxus period, or mail art. In North America it was something else than in Latin America, where it was more political.. in Northern Europe it had again a different meaning. So I think this variety and the continuity in the production and actually the real circulation of the work itself allowed the medium to become some kind of alternative. I hate this word - alternative - but it really is. I always think that there is this kind of dilemma of becoming too elitist or too anarchist. Some people would see it as a kind of limited edition, you make one copy, you have to touch it with gloves, but then on the other side there is also this approach that is concerned with easy distribution, easy production, cheap production – in order to reach more people, a bigger audience, to produce more work. Both happens in the same medium.

If we leave the artist who produces the book aside for a moment - which reactions did you have from the audience in general? From what you just mentioned, that people can take the book home, look at it when and how they want, transport it into another context, look through the photographs and get different impressions from it whenever looking at it again - did you get any feedback from people?

There is a difference concerning my own work and the series we produce. My approach is more implicit. You could see it as a kind of compilation of photographs, randomly laid out. Once you are in, you can start to relate to some kind of understory, there is a very specific story. So I am very used to get two extreme reactions. For some people it is like ‚What am I looking at, I have no clue’. Which I like. I do not really intend that everybody should think and feel the same way I do. And some people start to look at it very differently, depending on how much time they spend with the book - or with me sometimes. But I think the beauty of the books is also based on their independence from the artist. You cannot really control who buys it. Other artworks are usually distributed by you or your gallerist, but a book lies in the bookstore, it can go anywhere. Once I received an email from Cambodscha. Somebody had bought my book, wrote to me and wanted to know more about it. After 7 or 8 years. That is what I like a lot.
The circulation becomes uncontrollable after a while. Of course initially it is you who distribute, you start the main movement. But then... if the book is in somebody’s library, if there is a party in that house at night.. I myself do this, when I am at somebody’s house and if I can move around freely - I always go to their bookshelves, I like to look at what they read. So it can happen that somebody takes it out, and it moves to something else. And it is also not limited just to the art world. You can reach quite a diverse crowd with the medium book. I made the same experience with our productions, with Bent. Just because the books are so different from each other – you have these content specific audiences... We have an audience that is related to contemporary art, and we create another additional audience because of each specific book content. We have a comic book audience for the comic books for example, and they have no interest in Aslı’s book for example. And Aslı’s book concerns literature lovers. They do not have to have any affiliation with contemporary art. The reason why they look at it in the bookstore is because they see a little book that looks like a novel or fiction called Takip Poursuite, and then it goes somewhere else.I like the phenomenon that you can reach a wider and more divers audience.

Can you spontaneously think of any book in the archive, one or two books, which you like very much out of a specific reason?

Yes, of course. One is Clarifications and Corrections, which I really like a lot. There is a whole pack of different issues in it. And then Hans-Peter Feldmann, you probably know this one. It is a heavy book.

Should we shortly talk about both of them?

Clarifications and Corrections - the name of the artist is Anita di Bianco, an artist from New York. She makes her own newspaper from corrections and clarifications of official newspapers. She compiles the errors and all the ‘sorries’. First she concentrated on English-language newspapers, she worked on them in different periods, which is why they have different colors. This one for example she did in 2002. She produces them whenever she has the time, opportunity or invitation, not in specific time periods. Recently, she spent some time at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin for example, and did a version from German language newspapers.

And you would still call it a book?

Oh, well when I say artist’s book, it is printed matter as a work of art. About the book as a medium: I do not think that there is a norm, that it has to have a certain amount of pages for example.

And Feldmann?

I love what he does anyway. Of course I am not the only one. I think he is very special in the production of the printed matter and the collection and distribution. In the production of knowledge and how he distributes it. And this one is special.. there are some works of his that I find less interesting, just for myself, but I always find him very special when looking at the compilation of things he worked on in their totality. Among his other books, this one is very strong. The sequence is crucial, one page after the other. The compilation of pages is crucial. This work would be very different if it was presented on a wall. The images cannot really detach from each other, from their grouping. I always find binding very violent. It is quite a strong physical intervention, the result it is not anything loose. The togetherness of those images intrigues me - some of them are very rough, some of them are very normal, mundane..

He must have had a whole series of newspaper photographs from which he chose... How do you like the layout? He always opts for this very plain appearance.

I like the unpretentious style of his books a lot. I think it also works as a style, it becomes a signature. When you look at the single piece it is something so insignificant in a way and it becomes so significant as the compilation grows. I think the simplicity is a very deliberate, very significant simplicity.

When looking at all the books he made over time, the simplicity of the layout functions almost like a grid structure where all sorts of things can be fit in.

Yes. What I also like very much - he collaborated with Céline Duval, she is a young artist from Normandie, and she and Hans-Peter Feldmann cooperated quite intensely on this project called Cahier d’Images. Céline is very busy with found photo-archives of people. She calls her project “Documentation Céline Duval”. To work on those productions - I think they did nine books together and now they quit - they get together someplace in the world, put a team together and produce very fast. She brings some work, he brings some, they get it done together.. This is the compilation. One of my favorites is Charlotte Garnier’s Cahier. It is very nostalgic, in some sense every teenager made something like this, assembling images of the artist you like. It is very well done.

You mentioned that when you started doing Bent, this consciousness for the artist’s book as a medium was not very common in Turkey yet, or in Istanbul. What do you think was the reason?

Oh, the reason.. You know I do this series together with Philippine Hoegen.

Yes, I wanted to ask you about the collaboration later.

Ok. Well, I think - I wrote about this in some texts before - Turkey always had a kind of a strange relationship with books, a love-hate-relationship in some sense. We censured books quite a lot in the past. We burned books. People got into prison because of the books they read. Writers were exiled or killed. Things like that. I cannot really call this nation a book-lover nation. Do you see people reading in the public transport? No. Do you see people reading in parks? No.

Even the idea of a bookshop - I mean there are several on Istiklal, but when you walk through other neighborhoods, there are none. 

Yes, exactly. So it is not a nation that we could call a reader nation. We cannot call it book loving. Of course certain books become big sellers, they reach a certain kind of popularity. It is the same for newspaper, there is a very low tirage of national newspapers, compared to a lot of other countries. The same for periodicals. I would guess that – speaking of the artists - everyone is rather interested in making a big catalogue to show their work. A lot of artists here do not have a big chance to show their work. So if they have an exhibition once or twice, they prefer to show all their work and do a catalogue. And then, I mean, the low recognition of the artist’s book is also due to the fact that people simply do not know that such a medium exists.

This is what I wondered - there seem to be no bookshops where you could look at them.

Exactly. There are bookstores in the world specialized on artists’ books. You usually walk into a bookstore and there is just a section of artists’ books. So people start to question: What is this? What am I looking at? They see books where there is no normal introduction, no normal layout, they look a bit different than the others. Even for our own series, I am trying to convince the bookstores - well, the only one that we work with here - to hold the books together. Because it is important to show that it is a series. A very unusual series. But they try to put Masist’s one next to the comic one for example, Aslı’s one to the fiction books, Emre’s to the illustration ones, and with Cevdet they do not know what to do, so they just put it on the table.
Of course the bookshops always have difficulties with space. In Robinson especially, it is very small. But I think we should maybe come with an idea, a very simple display, like a cardboard box or something, and all books from the series should be together. Then people can start thinking: What is the relationship between this, this and this and why are these books together.

I wanted to ask you about the collaboration with Philippine Hoegen next. But also - before you started collaborating with Philippine, was working with other people on your own work very important? Or not only collaboration, but also the idea of getting support through talks, of having a dense exchange with somebody or with a certain group of people, was that something that you were already used to?

Yes and no. I lived for many years in New York City, where I stayed quite a lot on my own. New York is a bit like Istanbul, people always run and do their own thing, they do not have any time for you or at least you think they do not. I was very much used to think on my own and not ask anybody. Then I went to Rijksakademie, and the whole thing was reversed. There, suddenly more than enough time seemed available, everyone was interested to exchange, talk, explain, question things, do studio visits... It was very unusual for me, also in a physical sense: New York is so narrow and vertical, and you also live this way. All your things are piled up. Amsterdam instead was vast, flat. I had a studio that was five times bigger than this room, and I just squeezed myself into the corner. I usually do not need more than a table. I kept thinking I should just sublet the space.
So I got used to intense exchange during those three years. I met amazing people. To talk about your work became normal, a part of daily life. My boyfriend was an artist, so the discussions were ongoing. You go eat at somebody’s place, you drink, you talk. And then I moved back here, and there was nothing. It was like two extremes. I am not someone who is extremely socially involved with the art scene, but after having moved here I started having this space and people started to come by. But we did not really talk a lot. Maybe there is a different kind of energy here. There is always this tension that people are not really open about everything, and you end up becoming the same. I think the only person who I told about my work was Philippine. Which is interesting, because we did not talk about our own works in the beginning at all. We were a bit shy about it. At some point, we decided to collaborate together and got intensely involved in it, but we still did not really talk about our own works. Now we talk a lot. About both - our project and our work.

And how did the collaboration on
Bent start?

This was quite interesting. The moment I returned to Istanbul, Philippine had lived here already for two years. We did not get to know each other in Holland, but we met in Amsterdam for one night when she was on a visit. At the time, she came to see a show that I did in Amsterdam. She realised that my space was located in Istanbul and told me that she lived there. So we started to discuss and decided to meet the week after in Istanbul. We talked about her observing very distinct cliques and groups in the art scene of Istanbul. Her impression was that young artists were in trouble if they did not fit in one particular frame or circle or clique.. She had already thought about doing a magazine in order to offer possibilities to different people, apart from the already known group of artists that she used to see everywhere. When I talked about my passion for artists’ books and books, we decided that we should work on something together – not a magazine, but an artists’ books series, not produced regularly, not in fixed periods, but somehow in regular intervals. Intervals that can change completely.

And at the time you talked about this to Philippine, you felt the same about the art scene?

I knew it in a way, but I had been away for eleven years, and we met at the moment that I had just moved back. I did not have the time to observe the scene yet, but I knew how it used to be, of course you always see the same names, the same people. But what was more important for me was that people did not use the book medium much. And did not explore things through it. Especially young artists. It is such a big chance, you can do such different things with that medium...
I just asked myself why this did not happen. At the same time, I wanted to follow my own practice, and I also like to show people what is happening in the medium artist’s book outside of Turkey. So I thought a space would be a good idea, where you expose a collection of books permanently. People can walk in and look at everything. I never had the intention to open a space or a gallery. People sometimes ask: are you an editor, a curator? None of it. For now, we edit this series. But when it will stop, it will stop.

How long did this process of talking about it last until you finally decided to do the Bent series?

I had returned to Istanbul in march 2005. During the Istanbul Biennale, we used this space for a three-days exhibition. It was a continuation of what we had done in Amsterdam with Rosa Barba and Florian (...), colleagues from Amsterdam. Then I left for New York City (?). During this period, Philippine and me talked a lot. I left for Oslo for two and a half months, and we kept talking, but the moment I left we had already decided that we were going to produce Masist’s book. We had to choose who is going to be the first one in the series. I told you that I had known Masist’s work for some years already, he had died and I happened to find his drawings, but I never knew what to do with the material. I also did not have his drawing books, until then they still lay in a junk shop. So when Philippine and me decided that we should edit a book on Masist’s work, we did not know that he had produced these comics... we went back to the junk shop. The storekeeper still had the material and we went through it. We pretty soon realised that we should forget about editing a book on him, he already had made that himself. That we should just publish his books as they were. Then the whole adventure started. We also started with zero money.

That was actually going to be the next question.


We had none. We were already dreaming to publish six books. I will never forget it. Of course it was clear that we could never only do one, we needed to do all of them. Otherwise it would not have made sense. We were so excited about this work that I was ready to knock every door to search for money. I was totally convinced that these books should exist and should be seen by more people. You know, when my own work is concerned, I have difficulties asking for 100 YTL, but in this case I did not have the slightest doubt to address people because Masit’s legacy was so special and so unique. We were very lucky, we met the right people right away. I got the space, my neighbour sponsors it, I have known her since 1989. Later, one of the partners became my husband. They also sponsored the book launch of my previous book in 2003, they are now sponsoring the theatre next door, they sponsored the Biennale. I knew that they had an affiliation for contemporary art. It happened that they rented the space and it was empty. So they told me that I could use it until we will know what we are going to do with it. It was offered to us for 2 years in the beginning. So first I got the space. So you do not pay any rent, you just have to find a table, a few chairs, books, and you start to sit inside. That we already had a space was I think one of the important reasons why we could convince other people.
The next problem is how to pay the bills etc., how to run the space. Through a friend I knew one of the partners of Marmara Hotels. I also knew that Marmara Hotels usually do not do real sponsoring. They do funding on the basis of exchange. When there is the Jazz Festival, they give room for free. So I called Marmara and invited one of the managers to our space. The space was very similar at the time, there was a big table here, I had the Masit originals and some paper try outs for printing. It turned out that he was a comic book freak. And he liked the project. I told him that I did not want any money from him for the books. If BAS does not exist, we cannot produce these books anyway. First of all, we have to be able to survive, then we can produce. And that the idea was to produce a series, to start with Masit, then to continue with younger artists. Asli was already on the program at the time. I talked about her work, it is so different from Masit’s, very modest, conceptual. So I gave him a small explanation of everything, and asked for his support - small, but continuous. I did not want any project money, I asked for monthly money, whatever he could give. I wanted to make sure that we were not going to die in five months. And he offered me a certain amount on which we agreed.
(...) gave us starting money for Masit. I think we got the two nicest men of Turkey supporting our project. They are such modest people. So many times I go visit Kan and asked him if he was still comfortable with the project. At the time I was pregnant, the production got a bit slow, we did not produce much, I did not inform you a lot. But he told me he just liked what we do. That we should just keep going on.
That was how we started Masit’s. Then I got an invitation of Rijksakademie. As an ex-participant of Rijks I was eligible to apply for a grant, a kind of leftover from a big project called rain network. They gave me some left over money for a pilot project. So this was also adding to the pool, for a year. At the end of the year, we had to give a report, for each penny which we were spending. Because of this, I could apply for steiten doon, another Dutch funding. Of this money we spent quite a lot for Emre’s book, which was very expensive.
The ideal idea is that you can produce books by selling the others. Masit’s books sold well, but Asli and Emre are very special books, they will never become a big sell. But taken all the money we got out of the first three books, we could produce Cevdet’s book, also because it is a simple production.

Is there any contact with other art publishing houses or art institutions in Istanbul or in Turkey?

Maybe Art-ist, Halil’s project. We have a very loose exchange. They know what we do, we know what they do, we support each other’s work. I have his books here. That is it.

When you started to work on BAS and with Philippine on Bent, were there certain artists’ initiatives dealing with books that were a model for you? Or were there approaches that you knew you did not want to be associated with?

Printed matter in New York City was important for me. When I was there for the first time in 1993, it was the first time I realized that such a place existed. I was studying in NYC at the time, and I never studied art. So I was not firm in art history, and I had never seen such a place. They were still in their old space then, in Soho. I basically spent all my time there.

What was special about it for you?

I think it was the diversity of the works, and the freedom. They have a whole collection of Fluxus pieces, and a wide collection on the tradition of editing, among it strange things, posters, multiples. It was a huge room in a flat store, with an exhibition space at the back. It was very chaotic with all these shelves, but interesting as a display. You could just spend day after day and discover all sorts of things there. It also functioned like a normal bookstore. You had to buy everything, it was not an archive. This was the first time that I realized what an artist book was, or a work of art as a book. Over the years, I traveled, there is an amazing space in Amsterdam called booky wooky, very specific, it is an artists’ initiative. Printed Matter was also an artists’ initiative in the beginning, now it is a non-profit organization. One of the main artists of booky wooky is Jan Voss, a contemporary of Dieter Roth, coming from this whole gang he has an amazing collection.
So where ever I go, I always try to look for this kind of book shops or project spaces. But as far as I know, no place functions the way BAS does. You usually find real bookstores. There is, however, an institution in France, around 30 kilometers away from Paris, called CNEI. They have nine thousand titles. It is an amazing place. Céline Boulanger is the director. They have a print shop inside, they have an unbelievable archive, a residency program... It is a very big institutions, just for artists’ books.
I do not know about another place that is similar to ours - a small artist run space, with a small, unsellable archive. When people who work in the medium come visit us - Céline was here for example, or bookworks from London, they also say they do not know another place like this. Usually you become a bookstore because you cannot survive any longer. But these people are not practicing artists. So they have to publish in order to survive. With us it is different, we can change the format. We do not have to continue this project if it becomes a burden.

You are really not interested in the whole economic aspect of it...

Not yet, you know. Maybe when I will grow older, or when I will not want to live from my art practice anymore, or when producing work will not feel meaningful to me anymore. Maybe I can open a real bookstore then, and BAS will not be a project space any longer. The archive will mean something else then, you run a business. If I needed a job, I would like to own a grocery store or a bookshop. Or a Bakkal. I am also very much inspired by hardware stores. In New York I used to enter them the way I would go to museums. Instead of galleries I would go to hardware stores.

For me it were the kitchen supply stores on Bowery Street.

Also. With these little things, I always think they have very special systems of installation and categorization there... I almost see myself running a hardware store.

I have one question remaining, about what you told me last time, what makes Bent very specific: first of all that you choose not to do ‘exhibitions’ when you do book launches, and secondly that you are not interested in branding.

We produce a series. We call it a series. We could also treat it as independent pieces. I mean, each piece is independent, but they all have Bent on their cover, which is their common denominator. This is why I do not feel obligated to create any identity around it. The name keeps coming back, but people look at very different outcomes. The name can eventually generate some kind of relationship, a set of dynamics, a state of mind. The name is the only thing we have. It appears and shows itself in different formats and in different shapes and typographies. In a more indirect way. Of course it is a kind of branding, but indirect and not too imposing. It is also out of respect for each work that we try to make it as invisible as possible. And it gives us the freedom to change, that each book can be totally different.
About exhibiting - it is clear that the space is small, which is a restriction. We also display books permanently in the space, so anytime we do a book launch we have to decide where to put the others. But for the exhibitions: the book is the work. We exhibit the book. We do not make any retrospective of the artist’s work, we only show the new piece, which is the book. The exception was with Masist - first of all he because he is not alive anymore and cannot talk about his work. Usually the artists are here during the book launches and people can ask questions. But with Masist no. And also, he was known as a different figure, as someone being active in the film industry. So we felt responsible to give out some information that we had about him and his work. To enable people to understand his mind better. His books are so specific, if we had just shown the books, it would have been shallow. For that reason we put together a simple documentation of his other work. We also host other book launches, and we hosted Masa for example, Isabel Schmiga’s work came with it. That was the second time that we had an exhibition here. And Masist’s work - we had the chance to duplicate the show we did on him here in an international context.

And now you will go to New York.

Yes. I am very excited about it and do not know why. Usually I do not appreciate fairs so much, we do not really participate in any art fairs. With this one it is different, I think it is because I have this nostalgia and and appreciation for printed matter. And I know that they appreciate what we do.

They are running the fair. And they invited you?

Yes. What was important for me: ... is a person who has seen everything. When he got excited with the production that we do, I felt really content. He invited us to take part this year, in the special section for artist run spaces, we do not have to pay for the stand. They know the medium. They have seen a lot. They know the history. Their appreciation is valuable.
It is also good for the works and the artists. It will create a big network. So to come back to your first question - the artist starts circulating the book, but it is also during such network fairs that you can reach many people.
We try to be very informative. We always remind ourselves and the others that we are artists. We are not normal publishers, or curators, or gallery owners, we are not representing the people we work with. If somebody wants something specific, we give them their email to deal with them, so that they can get in contact with the person.. We try to separate ourselves from the artists. With Masist’s work it is the most difficult, after the Berlin show we thought we might never show his work again.

Why that?

Because of the responsibility. He is not there anymore, it is always disturbing to us that we decide instead of him.
With the others, we do not show their work. If somebody is interested, they deal with it on their own. They showed Emre’s work in France for example. They wanted to show it in the same way as we displayed it here during the book launch in BAS. They had seen the images of the display and wanted it the same way, with the same lights etc. But it was not a conceptual installation, it was just the way we could realise it in our space. There is not a big concept behind it, but they did a duplication of it. Emre asked me if he could do it, of course, there is no copyright. So we sent some photos and gave some kind of specifications about the lights. That is it, the artists deal with it.

The last thing I’d like to ask you - last time you said we are not the editors, we are the producers.

We are editors. But editors in terms of the way it works in a publishing company. We are editors of specific projects, but it is not our main profession. Our work on Bent is definitely editing. We have an intense process of collaboration with each artist. They do not just bring material and we print it. We interfere into the content, we discuss it together, and our input is in the book in the end. That is of course why it is interesting. Otherwise we would run a publishing house where you publish a certain number of books a year. For this reason we also only produce very few books. We do not have the energy and the infrastructure for more.

 

 

 

Since 2006, artist Banu Cennetoglu has been running the space BAS in Istanbul where artists’ books and publications are collected, displayed and produced. BAS is building an archive of artists’ books by local and international artists. With a permanent display in the space the aim is to create an awareness  of the medium and to encourage the public to explore printed matter. BAS’ first production project is Bent, a partnership between BAS and artist Philippine Hoegen. To support a local production and generate a discussion on the medium, Bent focuses on collaborations with artists from Turkey at the moment.



 

 











 







 


begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild

begleitbild