A country where everyone is an artist yet uninformed of art

A country where everyone is an artist yet uninformed of art

Do we conserve old artefacts because of their esthetic beauty or because they constitute historical documents?

According to Dr. Murat Katoğlu…

The priority of museums to gather different works out of the hands of humans is their characteristic as a permanent example of creativity and their esthetic value.

They are not created so they become historical works but as an esthetic outcome of human sensitivity and wisdom.

In other words they were not created with a concern for art.

“Their historical characteristic is attributed to them by time,” says Katoğlu; “Actually, if they did not have an esthetical value at their own time, they would have neither become part of collections nor earn historical attribute.”

Katoğlu argues that museums are disconnected from art in our country. He says the culture ministry deepens this stalemate with is campaign “journey to history with museum card.”

“The ministry excluded the understanding of museum from life and art restricting and limiting it to history only. Museums have started to be considered as touristic institutions. An understanding of museum that is stuck on history and archeology means turning a blind eye to modern creativity,” he says.

If you ask him, this mentality could not even establish a museum that exhibits our geography’s art in an integrated and chronological manner; we could not even have a “national museum.” A Roman statue and a work of İlhan Koman can not meet in the same museum system. Because there is no such thing in the conception of Turkey’s museum understanding.

We lock art to history. We reduce history to numbers. We keep talking about so many years; praise quantity, don’t care about quality.

We avoid seeing that what carries tourists from one corner of the world to the other is not the age of the works but their artistic quality.

Our pathetic relationship with the see and the fish in a country surrounded from three sides with the see reflects itself in our stance towards our history.

The picture on higher education and employment proves this phenomenon.
15.9 percent of graduates of art are unemployed in Turkey.

Graduates of art schools rank second in terms of unemployment among graduates of faculties.
There are 60 art history departments in universities and faculties.

One gets curious whether High Education Board (YÖK) makes an assessment about employment opportunities of graduates when it opens up new departments. We raise generations that are totally ignorant of art history until they come of age to make a university choice.

Afterwards, thousands of students graduate from art history departments each year. Then the majority remains unemployed. Can’t municipalities hire art history experts? Why art history is not a compulsory course in elementary school in a country which have hosted so many civilizations.

What these civilizations have created; are they less worthy of the lakes and the mountains that are thought in schools.

It is clear that this system is not working. We keep thinking everybody that appears on the tv screen are artists. Just as we refer to the pop singers and the footballer that attended Prime Minister’s iftar dinner are artists.

The fact that the anger of the crowds that gathered in front of the consulate to protest Israel is diverted in an incomprehensible way to one of our most valuable statues is the outcome of this shortcoming. What we lose does not come back. We need urgent intervention before we lose more.