Mamut Limited Vol.1 pop-up, the first exhibition of the Mamut Art Project team's Mamut Limited (Artist Editions) project, which aims to meet all creative people working in different fields and techniques from visual arts to design, music to fashion, took place at Yapı Kredi bomontiada between September 16 - October 1, 2023. We are introducing the artists of this year's Mamut Limited, which will present special selections throughout the year on its online platform mamutlimited.com. Our seventh guest isa duo: Can Dağarslanı and Sophie Bogdan
Sophie Bogdan and Can Dağarslanı
We can start by talking about your artistic journey. How and when did you start making art?
Can Dağarslanı: During my architecture education, the cinematographic silhouettes of the cities I lived in and traveled to, triggered my interest in photography. The cities I visited gave me the feeling of materialized paintings. I felt that I could liberate myself by photographing them, so I started to produce works on the discipline of photography, which is completely self-reflective.
Sophie Bogdan: My interest in art started when I was a young child. I was painting intensively, and my sister and I would dress up in costumes and find roles for ourselves. When I became deeply interested in stepping into other people's perspectives and becoming like them, it made me want to become an actress. I took dance classes, joined theater groups, studied acting. Using the tools, I have acquired, such as my ability to feel others, my body, my visual power, and my imagination, which can create extraordinary worlds, helps me express myself in different ways as an artist.
Can Dağarslanı is an architect and photographer, and Sophie Bogdan is an actress and model. You first came together in 2014 for the shooting of the series Identities, which was also exhibited at Mamut Art Project. Since then, your works have been shown in various cities around the world. Does your local culture and environment influence your artistic work? If yes, how? Do the materials and techniques you use in your art find an echo in this network of interaction?
CD & SB: Culture tells you who you are. And who you are informs your work. Your work then feeds back into the culture. It's a symbiotic cycle. We can't think that we are completely independent of it, but on the other hand, we don't think that our cultures are dominantly read in our work. We can even say the opposite. We travel a lot while realizing our projects. New spaces offer us different perspectives. Instead of being tied to our roots, we analyze the place we are in and become an abstract part of it. We use the architecture, light, color, nature and culture of the place.
Culture tells you who you are. And who you are informs your work. Your work then feeds back into the culture. It's a symbiotic cycle. We can't think that we are completely independent of it, but on the other hand, we don't think that our cultures are dominantly read in our work. We can even say the opposite.
Based on the combination of architecture and photography, you create color-coded moments in quiet spaces. What are the reasons for choosing photography as a medium?
CD: Photography is the medium through which I can express myself in the simplest way. First of all, I am interested in the fact that photography is related to daily life. We both have a great passion for colors and light. We take analog photographs using only color films. And documenting the colors and light we are passionate about allows us to own them forever. Each series of photographs we take is a documentation of the spaces we experience together.
SB: I love silence and intimacy in photography, and it is a very special feeling for me to produce a work with another artist in a mostly wordless, instinctive communication. From the very beginning to the last moment of a creatively driven photo shoot, there is a very fascinating sense of tension/excitement that intrigues me.
Colors and human mistakes are at the forefront of your work. What does creating these "conflicts" represent and identify with in your artistic communication?
CD & SB: We aim for the audience to see things that they can't see but somehow already know. It could be a completely different worldview than theirs. Or it could be so close that they feel as if they are looking through our eyes. Either way, we want to remind the viewer of who they are and who they could be. We aim for them to experience this through the colors, lights/shadows, perspectives, and grotesque stories we present to them. For example, when they look at our works, they realize that ordinary objects around them can be perceived in a different way from the routine, and how infinite the layers and depths of colors and light can be.
Can Dağarslanı and Sophie Bogdan, From Sophie Bogdan series, Scanned Negative Film Fine Art Print, 90x90 cm or 110×110 cm, Edition of 5+1
The Sophie Bogdan series we saw at Mamut Limited seems to have emerged by thinking about the meeting process of light and shadow. Could you share the story of this series with us?
CD & SB: "The eye is always caught by the light, but the shadows have more to say." This series, which emerged when we felt exactly the same way, is strongly informed by Sophie and my other professional fields of architecture and acting. While I use the layers of spaces, Sophie integrates herself or her shadow, which is a part of her, with these spaces. We share the dark sides of both of us with the audience through the shadows in these light scenes.
New spaces offer us different perspectives. Instead of being tied to our roots, we analyze the place we are in and become an abstract part of it. We use the architecture, light, color, nature and culture of the place.
For you, is producing a successful work about personal satisfaction or appreciation from the art world? Why is that?
CD & SB: More than personal satisfaction or environmental appreciation, the artist's goal is to share who they are and how they see the world. Art is created through freedom of self-expression and accepted through freedom of individual interpretation. The most important part of the value of art is felt on a visceral level. Expressing yourself allows the audience to express themselves. A successful work is one that starts the conversation between the artist and the viewer rather than closing it.