Ex-tra-la-la – 2007
Where may it be, that new idea, that inspiration that will help us look at the graphic arts with unwithered eyes, that gushing spring which will reveal itself at once when we gently separate a few branches of the bushes we pass by every day... when first asked to write on this matter, I had presumed that maps would be instantly unfolded, the siege areas unanimously defined and it would appear immediately obvious which immigration routes troops loyal to the six arrows of the graphic arts -for all arts, in fact each craft has six, or maybe less, or more arrows- would follow, with no need for extrastruggle. The graphic artist opens his eyes, casts his net, waits, and his catch eventually covers both for himself and the market, I had thought. It turned out to be slightly more difficult than that, for we no longer perceive the world like we use to, not like when we were kids, nor like when we are drunk, nor do we get angry and sad or for that matter, happy about things that happen to us as we used to .
Let us say we find that spring, what might happen if we drink from it? Firstly, copying will become a whole lot easier, one won't copy from others, each will turn to one's self to copy. In terms of fishing techniques this will be a time of milk and honey, one will laugh when one realises once again that that strange sum we tend to call everything has been floating in front of us all throughout that curious time we have become accustomed to call always, and that strange crowd called everyone will hang its head in shame. After a while, the use of those organs universally regarded as, or in fact even more, important than hands will be, for increasingly extended durations, intermitted. Graphic artists, resting their eyes while they rest themselves, will begin to approximate, match and find resemblances among those images that appear in darkness, they will begin to couple them, they will pull and leave the letters, the words, the paragraphs flying about in the emptiness.
It is no doubt possible to divide this struggle into branches, routes. Permanent extrastruggle in dreams versus dreams, in history versus history, on the street versus the street. The block of history which has bent and shaped every slice of society from the family to the state with prejudice borne from history, geography, language, politics and religion is a dirty bucket, the fisher artist will rinse it in the sea. And whilst extrastruggling with history, the struggler sits alone in a deserted city square with an empty mind, knowing the crowd will soon arrive, yet scanning space and thinking of the following: history is on its way, yet up against now, history is history, no matter how it may strive to disturb it. No matter how stern, how ordinary, how untouchable, how flashy an image is, it will soften when confronted with art, it will soften just like the brain of a politician which has turned into a pulsing synthetic carpet of static from waiting in the protocol line at the Anıtkabir in summer wearing a wool suit, it will soften like the rapidly beating heart of a friend who returns the second he realizes he has shouted one sentence too much at a friend, it wll soften like the cracked soil which has sucked in the first overnight rain after the blazing summer months, and it will leave itself into the safe hands of the artist. O artist, will you prove yourself in charge of thy hands? Will you be able to look upon those that confront you in your world of graphic ideas from the sharpest angle and ask: A statue, a portrait, or a socialite? A dress, a backdrop, or the curtain which has fell on a lost period? The frowning brows of Atatürk will dissolve, the drops of sweat accumulated on his increasingly receding hairline will glide down his forehead, then his cheek, to wet his lips, and his lips will form a swinging sultanate boat of a smile between his dimples when they catch the sight of Turban Soray, herself a master of optimistic compromise, beating the social democrats at their own game, with her face shining like the moon from within that black frame. Thus the couple, wearing black, leaning on each other, and now nearly consumed by the darkness they gaze into, will whisper these words: "Graphic artists, do not listen to those who cry "You arrogants, what arrogance!" and take a look at the forest first! Look at the forest, and think, not where we come from, but how this forest came to be..."
Translation: Nazım Dikbaş