Hurriyet Daily News: "Immigrant artist’s fire fueled by sign in elevator"

Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review
ISTANBUL - March 4, 2009

Immigrant artist’s fire fueled by sign in elevator
[I would prefer "Immigrant artist’s inspired by sign in elevator" actually. I have no fueled fire against signs. H.A.]
Hakan Akçura, a Turkish artist living in Sweden, has declared war against a warning sign that he saw in an elevator, reinterpreting it, hanging posters on the streets of Stockholm and opening his own personal exhibition
[I didn't declare war against a warning sign... It's only one of the nice metaphor for this exhibitions concept. H.A]

Feeling like he didn’t belong in Turkey, artist Hakan Akçura left his home country four years ago for Sweden, where he thought everything would be different. His struggles as an immigrant there have inspired the work in his new exhibition.
[I said: I haven't problem about belonging since long time ago. I have lost it when I lived in Turkey. I didn't think everything would be different in Sweden. H.A.]

An artist with the Neo Fluxus movement, Akçura is a painter, a poet, a video artist and a performer. In order to make a living in Sweden, he worked along with other immigrants as a paperboy, between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. While they worked, there was an important rule the paperboys had to obey: They should not make noise that would disturb the residents’ sleep.

Rebelling against an imposition
[I talked about only one kind of "rebelling" in this interview: When I was making preparations for dealing out newspapers from top flat to below, I taken photographs from mirrors as self-portraits. This preperation work maid me feel like a rebell against the necessity of it. H.A.]
During this silent struggle, Akçura noticed a warning sign in the elevator of a building. It read "Farligt att transportera gods i hissar som saknar innerdörr eller fotocell," meaning, "It is dangerous to carry stuff in the elevators that do not have inner doors and a photocell." A picture next to the sign showed a man whose handcart has become stuck to the elevator, leading him to be crushed to death.

"The cruelness of this saying and image affected me deeply," Akçura told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. "It was like an imposition that we must face every day to stick in an elevator and die."
[I didn't say anything like this... H.A.]

For his new exhibition, Akçura has reinterpreted the sign to read "Varning för klämrisk! Farligt att transportera själ som saknar uppriktighet eller mod," or, "Warning: Risk for jamming! It is dangerous to carry the soul without candidness or courage." This saying provides the title of his first [third H.A.] personal exhibition, which opened in Stockholm on Feb. 27 and runs through Mar. 15. The exhibition features posters that Akçura prepared and hung on the streets of Stockholm, along with other works. The exhibition may also be viewed at

Akçura’s exhibition consists of installations, photographs and videos. The photographic installation, titled "Elevators, elevators -or a autoportrait of the artist as anewspaper runner- 1," contains images from the artist’s early years in Stockholm. "I took these photographs of my reflections in the elevator mirrors while I was working at night," Akçura said. The videos include "An Argument on Unemployment and the Swedish culture at the Workplace Swedish at Practice Course," "Catharsis," "Rush Hour," "Hesa Fredrik," "Why Not?" and Akçura’s favorite work, "Look, what beatiful seashells!" This video, which he shot in 2008, features two adults discussing world matters in children’s voices while walking down a street.
[...while sitting near the harbour. H.A.]

"With this exhibition, I aimed to draw attention to dangers that we face despite not [being] warned," said Akçura. "When a situation that we are used to changes, can we think about the reason for this change and approve it? When we meet someone who can hardly speak our language, can we approach him with tolerance and understanding, like a confident host?"

Speaking about Sweden and the problem of immigration, Akçura referred to the Swedish word "invandrare," meaning "those who come on foot," and said: "It is impossible for this walk to end, to reach a goal and the feeling of belonging even for the Swedish state or a middle-class Swedish person."
[Wrong translation of my answer... I said: "It is impossible for this walk to end, to reach a goal and the feeling of belonging according to the Swedish state or a middle-class Swedish person." H.A.]

Vercihan Ziflioglu

1 comment:

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