Lal Batman is a generation Z artist. He was born in 2001 in Bursa. At the age of 17, he received an award for his short film “Strange Man” at the international short film festival held in Shumen, Bulgaria.
Since 2019, Batman has started to independently produce art and design-oriented projects in various organizations, initiatives and agencies with the aim of understanding and experiencing the dialogue between the audience and the work. Creating his line by blending digital and plastic tools and techniques, the artist works on concept-oriented projects with video art, digital manipulation, digital illustration, sculpture and oil painting productions.
In her exhibition held at Anna Laudel in March, she captured the spirit of time and analyzed how digital communication technologies are used in daily life, starting from the concept of the metaverse. The NFT works that Batman produced for the first time and specially for the exhibition met the visitors concretely through a hologram. This time we talked about his new exhibition and his Belgrade journey.
Art, producing, creating… When did you realize that you had awareness of these, how did you get on this path?
I became aware of this situation at a young age. As long as I can remember myself, I have been choosing to create to better explain my surroundings and myself. In the process, this state developed, progressed and I found my own way.
You usually mix plastic and digital… Is this a choice, how do you find your way?
I think that digital and plastic mediums feed each other. I discovered this association through experimentation. Over time, I realized that my practice captured different dialogues with experimental methods.
You currently have an exhibition titled “Antrakt: What’s Between the Curtains of Life” in Belgrade. Can you talk about the scope of the exhibition and how you were invited to Belgrade?
About a year ago, at the invitation of Ksenija Samardžija, I visited Bioskop Balkan, the space where we held our exhibition in Belgrade. In this process, we decided to hold my personal exhibition with the support of the Saša Marčeta foundation. Bioscope Balkan, as a Turkish caravanserai, has witnessed many critical scenes and is the building where the first motion picture in Serbia was screened in 1899. From the first time I saw this area, I was very impressed by its historical atmosphere. For about a year, I had been going to Belgrade for my productions and exhibition planning. When I returned to Turkey, I started to carry out collective artistic research for the exhibition together with Ebru Adult. As a result of the research we have been carrying out for a year, the exhibition Antrakt: Between the Curtains of Life has emerged. The works consist of my site-specific video, sound installations and paintings. Assoc. Dr. It brings together Ebru Adult’s theoretical inquiries on post-pandemic sociability. Now I’ve been in Belgrade for a long time.
In the exhibition titled “Exposé” at Anna Laudel, Assoc. Dr. You worked with Ebru Adult. What kind of dynamic do you have together?
I think we have captured a very strong language and energy together. Ebru is an adult sociologist and I, as an artist, carry out collective research. We feed each other. As an artist, this is very exciting for me. From now on, we are focused on future overseas projects.
We have pleasant plans and dreams. We take action on behalf of the dreams we have, we make plans, and we dream about them again. We have a balanced, determined and happy working dynamic.
Based on your work… Do you think it’s something to be ashamed of wanting to showcase ourselves? Why do people condemn this?
In my Antrakt exhibition we held in Belgrade, together with Ebru Adult, we interpret today’s show culture as social media platforms. There is an order in social media platforms where there are opportunities that allow us to be included in the system in different areas. How we “Exposé” ourselves varies from person to person. In a way, we create our own avatars and proceed in the way we want to reflect ourselves. Just as everyone is different from each other, the way they express or manifest themselves in these structures also changes. I don’t see anything to be ashamed of in that. We only have the chance to reach people from different cultures, different mentalities, who are far from us or close to us, and spy on the traces of their lives with a single click. Maybe that’s why we are commenting on something distant or different from us, we don’t like it…
What kind of order do you have while working in the workshop?
I travel a lot because of my projects. In my workshop in Istanbul, I change and renew my whole order according to what materials and practice I will be working with at that time. Along with my travels, I have temporary studios in different areas and I reorganize and continue to work.
The works are from Lal Batman’s Antrakt exhibition, which is currently ongoing in Belgrade at Bioscope Balkan. Meeting with the audience in the historical atmosphere of Bioscope Balkan, the exhibition opens the spirit of the place to a dramaturgical and cinematographic performance.
Who/what inspires you the most lately?
David Lynch and Jordan Wolfson.
What was the last thing you read/watched/listened to?
I read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.
What excites you most about this summer?
To dream and prepare for the exhibition plans that I will bring to life in winter…
Interview: Aykun Taşdöner
Taken from ELLE Turkey July-August 2022 issue.