JT Jonna Tapanainen
BC Baran Çağinli
JT: Kansainvälinen nykytaidetapahtuma Helsinki Biennaali järjestetään tänä kesänä Helsingin Vallisaaressa.
Tässä podcastsarjassa keskustellaan tapahtuman merkityksestä sekä siitä, millaisia taide-elämyksiä on luvassa. Minä olen toimittaja Jonna Tapanainen. Helsinki Biennaaliin on kutsuttu 40 taiteilijaa ja taiteilijaryhmää. Yksi heistä on Baran Caginli, Turkista kotoisin oleva kurdi, joka asuu nykyisin Suomessa. Caginli yhdistää teoksissaan niin kuvanveistoa, valokuvausta, videota, installaatiota sekä käsityötaitoja ja -tekniikoita.
Helsinki Biennaalissa Caginlilta on esillä kaksi teosta. Armeijan sodanjohtokeskuksena toimineessa Esikuntatalossa on koettavissa teos nimeltään Hiili poliittisena molekyylinä.
Se on maailmankartta, joka on ommeltu yhteen eri maiden armeijoiden käyttämistä maastokuvioiduista kankaista, jotka on suunniteltu paikallisen ilmaston ja kasvillisuuden mukaan. Caginlin työ ottaa kantaa paitsi sotien ja sotatollisuuden ilmastovaikutuksiin myös niihin inhimillisiin menetyksiin joita ne aiheuttavat.
Toisen teoksen, llmauksia, pohjana on elokuvasta Ihmemaa Oz tuttu lause ”There is no place like home”. Mutta en jos kotia ole?
Baran Caginli on tuonut töissään esiin vaikeita yhteiskunnallisia teemoja ja poliittisia konflikteja, pakkomuuttoja, sortoa sekä ihmisten menetyksiä. Taiteen avulla hän välittää viestiä ja kutsuu muistamaan menneet tapahtumat, kadonneet ihmiset ja kauheuksien nimettömiksi jääneet todistajat.
Hän on käsitellyt töissään paljon kurdien historiaa ja Turkin valtion kurdeihin kohdistamaa väkivaltaa ja syrjintää. Aloitin kysymällä Baranilta, onko Suomessa asuminen muuttanut aiheita, joita hän nyt käsittelee taiteessaan.
BC: Ah yes, normally as you say this, my works- my topic is more this Kurdish, issues but, because I was living in Turkey, 25- 27 years or something and I, moved to Finland, almost four years ago and, I was more in the, how to say in the situation, like more closer to everything and, of course, I need to say something if something is going on, which is wrong, and it’s more local of course, if I am there. And then I moved to Finland, I had the chance to look to the, problems, more wider, and in I can tell you that in the global context, not only local, and now it’s kind of here, I can find some other, problems, in the other regions in the other geography, other ethnicities, who is suffering also the same problems or, relatively close, and it’s more colourful, the work’s more, wider, things I’m using now.
JT: This could be seen also in your work in Helsinki Biennial. The carbon as a political molecule, the theme is very global and very universal. It is located in the Vallisaari former military headquarters and offices residence. Could you please tell about this work and, how does the place, affect it that it’s, Vallisaari has its own, military history also?
BC: Yes and, as you said it’s more, global context, Carbon is a political, molecule. My works theme mostly base on the militarism, and nationalism, in this work, how the militarism affect, to the global, climate crisis. And in Vallisaari of course it was close to the public and, now it’s kind of, open but half of the island still, I think it’s, closed I mean, when we are there, still there is a military training we can hear like a bombs and machine guns and, this happen in the nature, and I stopped to think also how, this, thing could affect to the nature. I mean when we were in the other side of the island everything is perfect there’s abundant, the nature, you can see all the animals, but in the other side I’m sure there is, kind of no life because, these weapons and the bombs is affecting the natural life there. And this also, give me some opinion about the work also, and I was also working, on this work before, I add more things after the visit, to the island.
JT: So there is, very interesting dialogue between the work and the site, your work is being presented.
BC: Yeah and, these visits also, give me a chance to, create the other works, which is not in the Biennale but, generally the work, Carbon is a molecule, based on the Köppen climate map, which is updating every ten years or something I think and you can see the, warmer areas or the colder areas in this, map. And I, start to search these camouflage patterns, which military is using, all over the world, because the military is using camouflage patterns according to the climate where they are in. An example in, Siberia it’s mostly the white colours, but in the, Brazil it’s mostly the green an example. But these colours, the camouflage patterns is changing in the years because the climate is changing.
JT: Yes, and the idea is so brilliant, and I was wondering, in your works do you use, you bring together so many different disciplines, photography or, video or sculpture, installation, how did you find your way, to work this way?
BC: My background is sculpture, I graduated from a sculpture department but, for me I’m using, more political issues and, when I want to say something about these problems or, giving the message, my background is not enough. And, I need to find some different- I need to use different mediums, sometimes it’s video, or photographs or, an example, neon lights what I, one work I have in the Biennal.
JT: Mhm, expressions.
BC: Yeah, according to what I want to say, which is most proper medium. It’s not like I’m the professional in every discipline but, just the medium, is a tool.
JT: Yes exactly. When you said that now you are working more, with maybe global themes or, not so locally now that you’re living in Helsinki so has this changed, your medium, or have you, found that you are going to some direction more, now, with the medium too or, your working method?
BC: Of course it’s, not same, maybe a bit now, different things I am using but, before also I was using different mediums now, when you, also think about the more wider issues you need to find different mediums or the materials or get help from the other disciplines.
JT: And also there’s, even though as you said, your works are very political and, I mean they are very heavy in a way, there’s lot of atrocities, also forced migration and all of that. But still there’s, sometimes humour in your work. It’s not, funny laugh out loud humour but there’s this kind of I don’t know, sort of dark or tragic sense of humour that’s also in play in expressions, with this tagline from the film, Wizard of Oz.
BC: Yeah. Wizard of Oz, as we know this film for the kids, mostly is because it’s, more colourful and, funny or, proper for them I can, maybe tell you of course, the adults, I mean I am also watching, many times I watch, but I never think about that I will use this, something from this film but, when I was in Turkey of course, I work in one human rights organization, I had a workshop with the refugee kids, from Syria (and Iraq) [0:06:47.3], then, maybe this kind of affect to me because it’s kind of, childish but it’s also, when you think about, when Dorothy is looking for her home there is no place like home. It’s matching for me, the one refugee kid, looking for home, but there is no home. Yeah I mean Dorothy is finding but of course there is these many, things, happening and the adventures of course. But for the refugees, there is no home when they go back.
JT: Exactly. And I was also wondering, when you deal with all this, identities and, migration and, being a refugee and all these conflicts of power, and these things that have also affected your life so, what do you think, can artist choose his or hers topics, is it possible or, do the topics choose you?
BC: Of course this affecting what I am seeing or what I experienced or, what people experience in my country or the neighbour’s country, it was more, for me, or for someone who is living in Turkey or in this geography is more everyday life seeing these things like a war or, refugees. Of course at some point you are doing something, if you don’t want to do because, every day, to see these things, it will affect at some point your works or what you are doing, in your life. It’s kind of directing, it’s giving you, a way to say something if you want to say.
JT: In one interview something you said that you, want to be, sort of like a mediator, to make art that brings information from people to people, and often in your works there are these, nameless people witnessing, for example local atrocities, and then, we get to witness, those, through your art and, what do you feel like is, the value of sharing these, local memories or, events to wider audience?
BC: There is many information you can see what’s going on in the, places, the war zone an example and, of course, which is correct we don’t know what’s going on, or so we don’t know, except for nowadays it’s, Palestine, invasion and, people really don’t know what’s going on. And someone need to say something and these people, doesn’t have any possibility to, say something and, for me as an artist what can I do? I feel responsible to say something for these people, also because I could be in the same situation and I was almost in the same situation, at some point and nobody say something for me, or for other people. And that’s why I feel responsible to, be on the middle and, how to, explain that I mean.
JT: Yeah I understand.
BC: But yeah, kind of, I don’t know the word in English, maybe I can say, giving message, to be a voice for them.
BC: Yeah giving the correct information to the people, something like that I am, trying to do with my works.
JT: And also there’s this, message of, keeping somebody’s, memory alive or remembering, the importance of us remembering, the past people or, the past events.
BC: Yes, yes. It’s kind of archive. Maybe, daily things but, when you look at these things, an example some works I’ve done before is, kind of archive in 20-30 years people, can forget what happened before but, with these works an example they can, remember. These people or these witnesses or the, incidence, then they can still get the information, for me it’s not only the artwork is, kind of material, to remember the people, or the situations.
JT: You have also been, exhibiting, widely, and I was wondering, what are the reactions people, have to your message or to your work?
BC: Yeah [chuckles]. The feedbacks are, good of course, and, I’m seeing mostly the people, start to think or, they are getting the, information about the things, and this is what I want to do, then I’m very happy. It’s, kind of working through my works.