Moving Image Co-Founders on the Rise of Video Art in Turkey
""Crazy Tourist" may seem 'innocent' at first glance: we see the Eiffel Tower reflected in a spoon. The resulting image is deformed and curved in accordance with the profile of this peculiar 'mirror.' Moreover, on the convex side of the spoon the image is visible 'normally,' whereas on the convex side, it is upside down. Thus, the Eiffel Tower together with the whole world become inverted. The impression is as if the person playing with the spoon was lying down on a lawn with her back to the building, which constitutes one of the flagship tourist attractions of Paris. The tourist must be truly crazy if she traveled all the way to Paris and does not look at the Eiffel Tower, instead, she plays with its reduced reflection in a spoon, perversely alluding to consumptionism, equaling this monument of technological progress in the architecture of the nineteenth century to something that can be consumed. I suggest perceiving this operation as a reference to the phenomenon of tourism, as part of which places and objects that guide books proclaim a must-see are thoughtlessly “devoured” by gaze and consumed like any kind of food on one's spoon."
Often working outside traditional art spaces, Serkan Ozkaya engages in a wide-ranging practice that includes performative displays, public sculpture, and conceptual gestures referring to art history and literature. His work frequently questions the nature of artistic reproduction; his work David (2012) re-created Michelangelo’s sculpture at two times the size. His ongoing “Dear Sir or Madam” series documents his correspondence to galleries and curators. With strange requests such as “Can I hang the Mona Lisa upside down?” the letters evidence the humor at the heart of Ozkaya’s work.
Turkish, b. 1973, based in Istanbul, Turkey