TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
If I were to put a title to my work, I guess I could say I am currently a multidisciplinary artist on a journey; but it's a fluid one and there is no predetermined destination. My journey started as a makeup artist, then I turned to the stage, then progressed with drag performances, and, from there, it led to oriental art, and it is still evolving. I have completed my education in textiles, and I still integrate this part of me into everything I do which makes me happy with the education I received at Mimar Sinan University. I initially started my adventure by studying ceramics for a year and changing my major later on. I still carry this fluid artistic identity. I don't want to say I am an artist with a single focus. It feels like it would limit me or hinder my progress.
DESCRIBE YOUR CREATING PROCESS IN 3 WORDS
My creative process has a connection to the past; an object from the past is always present in the process. Therefore, the next thing I do can be based on a costume or material that has a history. Even the name "Kika," which is a part of my name, comes from a past movie, an Almodóvar movie. When I find a costume of a dancer in an old bazaar, questions like "What is its story? Who wore it, in which nightclub? Which song did she dance to, with whom?" come to my mind. These questions nourish / excite me. I don't know the answers, and I don't dig into them, but I think it gives me the feeling it should. I take these questions to a completely different dimension, to a queer plane. That's how my creative process progresses. This may be due to my previous work in the service industry, restaurants, photography, and the makeup industry. To see a bride's happiness after giving her the most beautiful makeup, the desire for the other person to watch me while I'm dancing and seeing their smile all lead me to a point of desire. Presentation is key to me. You may not have created something extraordinary, but you can present and show it so beautifully that people can enjoy it and that is what I desire to do. That's why I don't limit myself by saying I am a dancer, a performance artist, or an artist. I am something, a fluid entity that creates.
WHEN TRAVELING ABROAD, DO YOU TAKE ANY OBJECTS OR MAINTAIN ANY RITUALS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH TURKEY WITH YOU?
My costumes are from Turkey because I like to carry a piece from my country as an accessory. For example, I am closely related to the rave culture, and when I go to a rave, I like to have an accessory or object that references the place I come from. For example, a scarf. Ana Nevi Gul & Bulbul Top might be that object for me. I constantly tell people that it's something produced in Turkey, originating from the culture of making quilts. I already have a quilt at home. Carrying that quilt gives me the feeling of carrying my home with me. As I mentioned earlier, that same feeling comes from my own costumes. Sometimes I talk to my costumes. I ask them "where did they come from, where are they going, what kind of journey are they on, are they okay, are they happy?" All these objects reference my past, my roots, the things I don't want to lose. They have stories, they have experiences. They have existed before.
SOMETHING FROM YOUR CULTURE THAT INSPIRED YOU MOST
For me, the point of inspiration is Eminönü, Istanbul. If I had the opportunity I would just take a plane and land in the middle of Eminonu. I would have absorbed all my inspiration there and would get back on that plane and come back here.
IF ANA NEVI WERE A DANCE MOVE OF YOURS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
It would be the opening of a flower, a rose. It would be a movement like the hand gesture in Ana Nevi Gul & El Keychain or the birth of the rose in Gul & Bulbul Top.
SHARE SOMEONE WHO HAS RECENTLY INFLUENCED YOU
The person who influenced me, although I haven't been able to meet her yet, is Evin. She still makes great costumes and she told me she could make costumes for me. Starting a costume from scratch doesn't have the same intensity for me, but now I want her to make a costume for Must & Kika before she retires. I only keep the costumes she makes and always try to find her costumes second-hand. When I first found a second-hand costume of hers, I realized that this work needed to reach a more professional level for me. When I look at it from both performance and technical perspective, I see that she thinks of every detail. She sews her costumes, she doesn't glue them.
The person I find inspiration from in terms of image and dance is Khansa, the greatest muse. Khansa is an artist from Lebanon.