in Interviews | 01 OCT 08
Featured in
Issue 118

Ayse Erkmen

The artist lives and works in Istanbul and Berlin

in Interviews | 01 OCT 08

What image keeps you company in the space where you work?

Banana (1998) – a photograph of a banana skin taken by Boris Mikhailov.

What are you reading? The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (1993) by Gilles Deleuze, because I live on Leibnizstrasse in Berlin. Also various essays by Mikhail Bakhtin because Gregory Volk referenced his writings in a recent essay he wrote about my work.

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do? It always changes. At the moment I want to be a springboard diver.

What is your favourite title of an art work? I like America and America likes me (1974) by Joseph Beuys.

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you? David (1501–4) by Michelangelo.

If you could live with only one piece of art, what would it be? The Oak at Flagey (1864) or one of ‘The Waves’, both by Gustave Courbet.

What do you wish you knew? How to play a musical instrument.

What is art for? Art should be for no reason.

What film has most influenced you? The Exterminating Angel (1962) by Luis Buñuel, Blue (1993) by Derek Jarman, Kader (Destiny, 2006) by Zeki Demirkubuz and Ten (2002) by Abbas Kiarostami.

What do you like the look of? Sea, waves, traffic, donkeys …

What should change? Things I am not happy about.

What should stay the same? Things I like.

What music are you listening to? I like to listen to Turkish Roma music: it gives me lots of energy and inspiration and tells me to ‘Work, work, work …’. Turkish pop by Ajda Pekkan is always good: it makes for a good start to the day and says, ‘You can make it: go, go, go …’. The music of the German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, gives me the feeling of having had a treat.