Boğaziçi'nde "Çağdaş Sanat" Röportaj Dizisi, 2010

Nasan Tur (b.1974)
İrem Gülersönmez –

Nasan Tur is a Turkish Contemporary Artist, who lives and works in Berlin.
Mostly in public places, he observes man and his behavior patterns,
performs critical but at the same time in a humorous way in order to study
our cultural and social identity. He characterizes mostly in his artworks
the fact between presentation and action. The Berlin-based artist makes
videos and sculptures, performances and interventions at the intersection
of art and life. Moreover, his performative interventions, video works,
photographs and objects have small disturbances in everyday situations
and images. Whether he can grow for his identity card a clichéd "Turks
Schnauzer", sprays dozens of graffiti slogans of Berlin facades of the
museum wall, or offers the exhibition visitors backpacks with different
items for use; his works play on both humorous and subversive way with
the viewer and his everyday perception.

As we see in your pieces, you observe people and their behavior, focus on social and cultural identity and reconstructed common senses. So what kind of function does art have for you?

N.T.: Art is for me an alternative language. A language which doesn´t have the aim to be understood, but brings the possibility to find new ways to read something. 
Something that can break certain and usually used structures of the way how people perceive their surrounding. The function should be described as functionless and that is why it makes it so important.

Your works cannot be understood at one glance. What do you expect from the audiences? Is there an aim of splitting the piece into two, as a part of consciousness and a part of unconsciousness?

N.T.: They are traps. I like it to play with the perception of people and confuse them. It looks like obvious what they see but it´s not. The stories behind the works make them complete. But to get to this complete work you have to spend more time and sensitivity. That prolongs the usual time what the people want to invest. It makes harder to understand. I like that.

Your works are at the first glance extremely humorous, like “Just Coke”, but they have also a critical aspect. How do you combine these two and how important do you believe humor is in the context of art?

N.T.: My art deals with serious themes and the humor helps me to emphasize these critical aspects without getting to didactical. It is like a magic hood. It conceals the real issue till the end to get more importance.

Your pieces “Kapital” and “Komunismus, Soziallismus, Kapietalismus”, both are a criticism of the way people perceive the concepts. Can we say that they have a notion of reconstructive manner?

N.T.: Historically they have. But even we can´t trust the history anymore.
I don´t believe in the absolute. But this doesn´t means that the absolute does not exist.
Therefor I begun to create works which displays this idealistic ideas and solutions, but with little faults and traps.

Your work “City says” is a performance which cannot be considered as an individual piece. You use graffiti of unknown people who have written on walls or buildings. How did you feel while working with a more collective performance? Can we say that this performance had an impact of the social relations in the role of art?

N.T.: City says is nothing more than a repetition of actions people made already in cities all over the world. But to put these actions into the art context and to change the form and reason of these writings changes the original intentions of the graffiti dramatically.
The original aim of getting attention changes to invisibility and the content of the writings sinks inside the masses of messages. 
Social relations had always an important impact in art, so that´s nothing new.