Artbook Days opens new dimension for Turkey’s art scene
Hatice Utkan Özden
At the time when the artists Huo RF and Melek Gencer established border_less in 2018, little did they know how this website will evolve in the coming years. They aimed to provide an independent website featuring works of artists and writers, mainly texts, and become a reliable art platform. They developed ideas within three years, and after one year, the duo started to organize border_less Artbook Days.
“When we founded border_less in 2018, we wanted to create a platform to learn and share from different artists’ works and practices. We wanted to give space to interviews with artists, writers, and so on. We still provide border_less as an independent platform for writers and artists writing about art. We work both with writers and artists,” said Gencer and Huo RF.
The important thing about the website is that each article is both in English and Turkish and open to writers as well as those who would like to share their writings in different genres.
After border_less’ success, Gencer and Huo RF decided to establish an art book fair, and they founded border_less Artbook Days. “We met with art professionals, galleries and institutions, and finally, we managed to make our first move,” the duo said.
The first border_less Artbook Days received huge interest. The Artbook Days have allowed writers, artists, and many more to show their work and meet with the arts society. The arts scene needed such a thing, Huo RF said. “We knew that it is very expensive to publish an art book, so we decided to create a fund for art books. This year we will be giving our third book fund.”
This year, Esra Oskay’s project “Ayvazovsky and Others: A Pictorial Inquiry into the Public Official Rooms” will be funded by the jury.
On the other hand, the event gives an opportunity to those who would like to know about art books and publishing. Both Gencer and Huo RF value the artwork editions, and they are aware each publishing is part of an artwork. That’s why they have created their publishing called Paper, a magazine for artworks of artists who are invited by border_less.
Border_less Editions is the new project of Gencer and Huo RF. “We have started editions in February. In this project, we invite artists to create an editioned artwork for us. Until now we have hosted Ecem Yüksel, Vardal Caniş and Hera Büyüktaşçıyan’s works,” said Gencer, noting that these editions were available on border_less website.
Vardal Caniş, who will be participating with her art publishing and editions at the border_less Artbook Days, said she wanted her works to become part of border_less until the beginning of the project.
“As a result, I have created my edition titled ‘Enjoy your problems,’ which is a depiction of a table with all the leftovers from a night before. You can see empty or half full bottles, empty dishes, and glasses,” she said.
Another edition of border_less is from Ecem Yüksel. She tells about a day in July 2019 when she was in Suomenlinna, Finland. Noting that she already has acquaintance with serigraphy works, she said, “In my artwork, I would like to reflect on a nice and joyful day.” The colors in her works tell her emotional state and pulling the viewer into that joyful and beautiful state.
Border_less Artbook Days is proof of support and friendship that turns into a professional situation. Both Gencer and Huo RF believe that the power comes with collaborations with other artists, writers and institutions.
The event will take place between May 26 and 28 at Bilsart in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district.