Baksı is a part of the geography that it is situated in, with its architectural design, structure and social dimension. One of the most important features of Baksı that makes it an authentic museum, is the open structure for dialogues and interactions established with its geography. Accordingly, the works in the collection of course, besides being an object only in the Main Building or Warehouse-Museum, sail into other geographical dialogue with people and nature. Every work is located or viewed in any way in the museum, in the sense that it takes on other meanings in nature. Like Kemal Tufan's "Submarine", Tuğrul Selçuk's "Tree of Life", Aloş's "Snake" or Koray Ariş's "Two Heads". The works that relate to nature and experience it, are part of the unique and contemporary sense of museum that is based on Baksı' understanding of 'open structure' and which is identical to art life.
We live in a world of images. Hundreds of images flutter unprompted through our lives and flow like a high-speed film unto those of others. In such a rapid world, we need to be selective in our possession of moments, people and objects. Elsewise, this torrent of images suck almost everything out of lives and make them a part of a void. Our memories function as a channel with intense points of ingress and egress. Though I do not distinguish, in this rapid procession, what is natural and what is social, certain things may occupy a space within a familiar zone. As such, familiarity simultaneously represents chaos, as well as belonging.
I’ve known Şakir Gökçebağ for a long time. For all that time, he’s always pursued ascribing meaning unto the mundane. He elevates many familiar objects unto a surprising level of aesthetics and constructs a temporal order. He positions objects of daily use, even those deemed as “kitsch” to such a startling relation that the spectator initially forms a relationship of familiarity with his works, followed by an impressive artistic voyage. The meaning Şakir Gökçebağ ascribed that mundane object departs it original function, magically surrounding and impressing the spectator.
Due to its cultural position, Baksı Museum is a centre of migration. People depart there, build new lives and travel to cities or countries previously unknown to them, joining the battle for existence elsewhere. Such people meet the new every day, reckon with it, affect it and are affected by it, carrying it to their field of familiarity. For this reason, they’re familiar with change and differences. Theirs is the world of familiars, because that world is boundless. Thus, when constructing its own identity, Baksı Museum has shown diligence on this fact and has built itself up as an experimental and interdisciplinary museum that is open to innovation and cultural diversity. In this context, it has cast aside distinctions, such as high or low art and constituted a field of representation for the creation and living for humanity. The exhibition, Familiar, forms a strong bond at this point with Baksı Museum. Its sole difference is its opposition to objects and forms, so diligently privileged by memory, ascribing meaning unto the mundane and offers new forms and proposal to the spectator. Such a groundbreaking manner pulls the spectator’s attention to her daily life, as well as dares to challenge the fundamental attitude that constitutes the general consensus. Şakir Gökçebağ’s dissent from the local has earned him a privileged position in our art world. This position urges us all to consider that everything around us possesses a meaning and that object without a meaning also belong there. Şakir Gökçebağ conveys new forms from the world of familiars to the world of meanings, proposing new points of view to the spectator. He’s an innovator, though not a destroyer. He transforms the objects, but does not eradicate it.
In the past three years, Baksı Museum has commenced a solo exhibitions process. Following “Thorn In My Foot” by Hüsamettin Koçan in 2017, “Soil” by Alev Ebuzziya in 2018 and “Nuri Bilge Ceylan at Baksı” by Nuri Bilge Ceylan in 2019, the museum now hosts “Familiar” by Şakir Gökçebağ. The exhibitions so far have brought together many different identities. Yet, the dimension that truly relates them with one another is their profound interest for life, memory and future. These interests will keep seeking answers to the questions of the people of this land. For all those who contributed to this, I’d like to extend my thanks, especially to Şakir Gökçebağ, for their parts.
President of Baksı Culture and Art Foundation