22 June 2019

INTERVIEW
ÖZGÜR KAR

 

This weekend (22–23 June) marks the final days of Özgür Kar’s solo exhibition A New Start at UKS. As usual, UKS’ Live Drønen spoke with the artist, touching on dogs (which seems to be a recurring theme when talking to Amsterdam-based artists), the fact that in 2019 none of us should be looking at big pixels, and Kar’s upcoming new new start in August, when UKS will launch his grand, temporary public artwork at Europarådets Plass in central Oslo.

The exhibition is open today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) from 12–5pm. You can see images and read the full exhibition text and press reviews here.

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INTERVIEW

Live Drønen: What do you eat for breakfast?

Özgür Kar: – I usually skip breakfast and drink a lot of coffee instead. I know it’s horrible.

Very Norwegian. Talking about Norway, your work will soon be up at one of the busiest areas in Oslo. How do you feel about so many people seeing your work every day?

– Exposed, haha! The work is going to be titled exposed as well. It will be a naked character in the busy street, talking to the people passing by. It’s kind of like those nightmares where you are in a crowded area and all of a sudden you are naked. It feels like that. The only difference is that it’s obviously not a nightmare. I’m very happy about it and can’t wait for August to come so I can see it in real life.

You’ve said you’re very inspired by the woman who made the first-ever full-length animation film of all time, Lotte Reiniger (1899–1981). If you could ask her one question, what would that be?

– Oh, yes, I love Lotte Reiniger’s films! She is a genius! I guess I would like to hear her talk about working with fairy tales as content during times of intense political polarization and war. She made so many films before and after the second world war, and most of them are about fairy tales and mythical stories. Maybe it was a reaction to what was happening around her or some sort of an escape. I’m not sure, but I would love to hear her talk about this.

To anybody who hasn’t heard of her, here is the full version of The Adventures of Prince Achmed. It is a shame we can’t see the original versions of any of her work though. Apparently, when she fled Germany to England, she had to leave all her original negatives behind, so everything we see today are just copies of copies, and because of that most of the details are missing.

A lot of (artist) visitors in your exhibition have been drooling over the 4K screens that you use in your work. What’s the thing with this extremely good quality?

– I think fancy tech is definitely an object of desire, and I like to use that aura in my work. I also drooled over them when we first unpacked the screens at UKS.

I first started using 4K screens out of “necessity”, because when shown on HD screens, the thin lines of the drawings became pixelated. On the 4K screens, even the thinnest line looks sharp, so the screen almost resembles a blackboard or a paper. On the other hand, I just hate noticing pixels. I think in 2019, none of us should be looking at big pixels; they should all be tightly packed. I mean, at the moment we all spend most of our time looking at screens, at least they can be in good quality.

Agreed. Do you think there is too much looking at screens though? The character in your exhibition is stuck inside the screen.

– I don’t mind looking at screens all day, but I know the consensus is that it is bad for your mental and physical health. I think today you have to be very privileged to avoid screen time. For me, and a lot of people around me, being online and looking at screens is a big part of our work. I need to be online in order to do my job, so it is unavoidable.

What three words would you use to describe your relationship to social media?

– Doggos, doggos, and doggos! At the moment I just look at dog photos on social media. At first I had a seperate account for doggy content, but now it became my main account. It puts me in a good mood immediately!

Send your best dog pic!

– Ok, here is a little Pomeranian playing in the mud.

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