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The ZigZag Questionaire: Elif Boyner

Elif Boyner creates art by disassembling things, or more specifically, images: a photographer and visual artist, this young Turkish girl is one of the brightest stars in art today. We subjected her to our ZigZag Questionaire, and here are her answers.


What colour is your mood right now?


How did you start creating art and when did you first think “Hmm, I’m good at this”?
I painted until I was 24; I was still quite shy and not confident about my work. I made my first video installation during my MFA at Saint Martin’s, in London, and felt much more comfortable and flexible with the medium. I started filming any little thing that caught my attention and then turned them into installations. The more I play around, the more confidence I get and the better my work turns out. When it comes to thinking about how I feel about my ability, in primary school, I used to paint all the Walt Disney cartoon characters for my friends and thought I was a great artist, now whenever I finish something, I’m very critical of it.


As a young woman, do you feel there is more pressure on girls to perform well while having to resist constant belittling?
Not really, I never felt belittled.


What’s your relationship with patterns in your art?
I guess not too close of a relationship. I pay more attention to getting a feel for what the tones and basic visuals are giving out.


And how about your life? Do you follow a schedule or do you try to be unpredictable?
Every Sunday I try to set a linear schedule, but I never seem to get it straight throughout the week.


Suppose you had one chance to time-travel for 24 hours. Would you go to the future or the past? And if the latter, when and where would that be?
I would be too scared to go to the future… I can’t think of what period, but definitely some time before the 50s.


When getting dressed for an event, what do you think of first? Making a splash or being comfortable?
Sometimes I try to make a splash, but I eventually end up changing into something more comfortable right before walking out the door.


Where is home to you?
Right now Istanbul, but I’m quite adaptable. I feel at home anywhere I have people I love.


You seem to work a lot with muted colours, taupe and grey shades as well as shadows and light. Is this in any way tied to your vision of life? Are you ever tempted to go with a straight primary colour like red or yellow?
I’ve never been tempted to go with straight primary colours. I’ve also never been attracted to anything that’s too in your face. When I think about it, I feel primary colours don’t have the intimacy I find in muted shades. I like incongruity, not having the whole picture offered: it’s more interesting letting people put the pieces together in their own ways.


Who were instrumental in shaping your world view when you were growing up?
My Dad and the world.


What’s the little doggie called? We love it.
Frida! She’s only 3 months, she’ll be quite big and athletic in a few months.

InterviewGiulia Blasi