Anatomy of Things – Yonca Karakaş

Arts & CultureFebruary 1, 2017
Anatomy of Things – Yonca Karakaş

Yonca’s idiosyncratic style and her pictures placed between reality and imagination catches our attention. Whether it’s because she’s been on our radar for a long time or because the rare situation of encountering original work, however the opening of Yonca’s first exhibition is very exciting. “Anatomy of Things” will be at Pg Art Gallery until February 25th. Now, it’s time to listen to the back story.

You create worlds of your own and take their photographs. We’d like to know the brains behind this close and personal…

This is the hardest question: it’s hard for a person to talk about themselves however I guess I have to… You can’t really say I have a very cool posture; I love to laugh, and even if there is no one around me to create an environment as such, I laugh at myself. If I’m surrounded by people who I’m not familiar with, then I’m the kind of person to stabilize my energy. However with people I am really close to, I enjoy constantly being up and about, bringing up weird topics and having fervent arguments.

‘Peacock family I’, Anatomy of Things Series, 120×94 cm, cprint, diasec, 2016

You say you’re anti-social. Could we say that this specialty of yours support you in living in a world of fiction that you’ve constructed?

Since you’re alone more, I guess you have more time to imagine. I don’t know what the complete answer to this is, however I guess it’s the distraction… There is a thought, and it needs to progress; everything around you might detract you from it, and you, as a choice, might prefer being alone to further your thought. Maybe that’s my case.

When you look at your works today, what habit of yours would you say brought you to this point?

Not as a child, however during my teens, I know I really wanted to be a genetic engineer. Cloning was a great idea… The fact that the news were filled with Dolly the clone sheep made me feel like I was in an era that was really close to the future. As a teen, the admiration for Adolf Hitler’s “master race” topped by Jean Christoph Grange’s novel Blood Red Rivers created a meaningless yet exciting bland that could possibly explain the monotype people in my photography. Of course this is not a situation where the mind is only feeding off of one source. Because the information around us constantly changes us…

‘Peacock family II’, Anatomy of Things Series, 120×94 cm, cprint, diasec, 2016

What triggers your imaginary world?

Doubt I think, the first reaction I give to any kind of situation I’m faced with is doubt I suppose… People who are close to me say the same thing. When this is the case, fiction inevitably follows doubts. The question “What if it’s not like this” is replaced by “How would it be if it was like this?” Also fear… The way how myself and other people talk about their fears…

You use Instagram as a gallery space, you have no personal content. Do you every feel like you need a space to share personal things?

On contrary, I might feel uncomfortable when I see myself anywhere.

‘Gardener’ Anatomy of Things Series 160×170 cm, cprint, diasec, 2016

Can you talk about the acceptance of reality in your first personal exhibition “Anatomy of Things”?

The word “şey” (thing) is also stated as “nothingness” in philosophy, used to point at the unknown. Ömer Hayyam has used ‘şey’ from Arabic while writing about the 3rd degree variable equations in a piece that he has written, instead of using the unknown variable. After words when this piece was translated into other languages, it was translated as “Xay” to Spanish. Then the word was reduced to it’s first letter “X” and was used as the symbol of the unknown numbers.

Including me, there are exactly 13 pictures in the exhibition of people who have been changed anatomically. Each one of them are unknown 13 people; far from their natural form, alienated, becoming unrecognizable. That is why the name of the series is “Anatomy of Things.” 13 characters that are so far from people I know, in unrecognizable spaces.

What have you been concerned with lately?

Cern; what kind of innovations are happening there are what are they hiding from us… Of course not this… I just want to go on vacation and all I think about is a vacation.


Inspiration? Fear, music and monologue… The talk I have with my inner voice and the fertility it brings seems like something that pursues itself, and grows as it continues without stopping.

Passion? Movies and science.
Impatience? A conscious malignancy when there is the potential to pick goodness within the options.

Favorite movie scene? There are so many! Let me write the first one that comes to my mind… The scene where Keyser Söze walks down the street and fixes his limp after a false statement, scaring the audience in Usual Suspects.

Cartoon character? Animaniax’ third main lead.

Last dream? I constantly see different versions of the same dream. A tsunami and the image of a grand ocean heading towards me.

Author: Duygu Bengi