Art museum rising on bullhorns...

On the Leleg route, an unusual structure rising above a pair of horns of a majestic bull in the middle of the woods meets you. It is ARThill…

ARTHill, which is designed and implemented by the artist, Ender Guzey, is a unique museum and arts venue, located in Alazeytin district of Kizilagac in Bodrum. He emphasises the ruins, which were swallowed by the streets of Istanbul, in some of his works. Some of his works immortalises the bull, which is the symbol of Zeus. We had an interview in the axis of art with the artist who is currently showing his exhibition called “Istanbul-Vienna” in the Ender Guzey Art Museum.

Who is Ender Guzey? Could you tell us about yourself?
I was born in Istanbul in 1951. I lived in the Galata Mevlevihane (Galata Dervish Lodge) with my family. It was a real Mevlevi lodge founded in the 15th century and now it serves as a museum. Actually, I was born into a very deep philosophy. My childhood was in an environment that touched with arts. When I started to paint as a child, my family thought it was very important that I was interested in arts and seriously supported me. I studied at the Austrian High School, where I met Professor MacZimmerman. It was obvious who influenced me even when I was a child. When I found out that MacZimmerman taught at the Munich Academy, I decided to enrol in the academy. MacZimmerman has influenced my academic career a good deal. I was his assistant between 1975 and 1977. At the Monchengladbach VHS, I worked as the head of the Fine Arts and Creativity Department and then the associate professor. Then I gave performance classes at Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul. Performance classes had not been implemented until then. I would like to express my leadership on the subject that I had brought that innovation.

Would you talk about your performance works?
I performed the significant performance called “Noah's Ark” in Istanbul. That was a protest show. When I saw the dolphins on the shores of the Black Sea, I had felt sorry for them and noticed that the artists had needed a kind of “Noah's ark”. Although Anatolian civilisations have been on this land, there is no art perception in people. What I am trying to say is that we have to fully appreciate our values and approach them with a different perception.

I invited the artists, thespians, musicians and performance artists, who have different types of expressions, to the Noah's Ark event. Noah's Ark sailed in the Bosphorus for a week. During the event, the activities continued with various music and dances. There was a pyramid made of straw on a 30-foot raft. It was the final night, I burned the pyramid painted with universal motifs and then the remains were exhibited in France and all over Germany as the remains of Noah's Ark. However, in Turkey, it was not able to be exhibited until 2005 in Istanbul.

Currently, you see here a different exhibition. I have quoted from various districts and streets of Istanbul. Unlike my other artistic works, this work, with the occasion of a project, is a photography exhibition where I made quotations from the presentation of the project called "Sculpture Street of Istanbul". There is the Inn built by the architect Sinan, the decaying gate of the Inn and a fountain from the Ottoman period through the photos. These are the details that a photographer does not look at and does not see but what an artist captures when he sees them; a professional photographer once told me this. These are the photos describing the realities of Istanbul.

Could you talk about your project, which is called “Sculpture Street of Istanbul”?
The project has a content that makes the destination, where Fatih Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror had the galleys moved over land, be identified in an artistic and contemporary way. In this project, it was planned that one representative sculpture from each one of the European countries would sculpture. The route would consist entirely of sculptures. I did a thorough research on that course. It heads from Tophane, Bogazkesen, Galatasaray, Istiklal Street and Asmali Mescit to Kasimpasa. This route was also available in the 1700s, as mentioned in the sources. I submitted this project to the German Embassies. All of the Ambassadors said that they were in this project, financing the sculptors. My sculpture suggestion was to have column sculptures. According to my suggestion, the sculptures would be placed on stringcourses built on the cobblestones, which were partly bronze, and that would refer to the Byzantine mosaics as a formation. However, the project was not realised, unfortunately, because it was rejected by the teachers of Mimar Sinan University.

How did you decide to return to Turkey?
I have completed my academic career abroad. I preferred to be an artist instead of an academician. I have found the opportunity to work with professional art galleries. Therefore, my works started to find buyers. My artistic style has developed from painting to 3D and 4D performances. I have had the opportunity to live in very beautiful places. I lived in Munich by a lake in Roma Hill. It was a fabulous place, seeing the Alps and where the gazelles came to my windows. Over time, one misses the country of birth. My return to the country became the occasion to have the project of Noah’s Ark. I used to come to Turkey very often while I lived in Germany. One of the diplomatic arias, embassy mansions in Tarabya was allocated to me by the German Embassy for a period of 4 years and I realised my workshops there.

You brought a very special art museum to Bodrum. The architecture of your museum is extremely unusual on the bullhorns...
Despite not having experience in architecture, I wanted to have a proportion. The museum has also been appreciated by the architects, I find that very important. In addition, acoustics sound and light distribution of the museum are very nice. If we get to the point of the location, I had been looking for a place in Bodrum in 2006. Kizilagac became my first choice. I learned the story of this location after the construction started. It was the Leleg settlement of Syangela and Thaengela. The dirt road, Leleg route, which you passed while coming to the museum, was called Goddesses Pass then. It is great for someone like me who is interested in gods and goddesses, to find here instinctively.

The horn and bull motifs are among the works that are eye-catching. To be honest, we are wondering what these things mean to you in your art...
Bull motifs existed in the Anatolian civilisations and the most primitive civilisations. For me, it is also valuable in terms of being a symbol of Zeus. In mythology, Zeus is often turned into a bull. Somehow, I have sympathy for the mythological gods and goddesses. I have been a bull sympathiser since I was a child and my horoscope is Taurus.

Would you share your exhibit program called “Istanbul & Vienna Forever” with us?
The exhibition, which started on the 10th of May, will continue until the end of June. It will go to Vienna from here. It is essential to make an appointment for the exhibition for anyone who wants to visit. I am going to start a festival called “Goddesses Pass”, which will be held on 7-9 September. I would like a local market and an agora, where the peasants and youths, who live in the village, can attend and to be there at the Goddesses Pass. They can also exhibit their artistic skills in a local sense. Very important artists will come from abroad. Several performances will be held.