Elif Biradli is an Istanbul based photographer and video artist. She creates a disturbed feeling whilst at the same time there is a sense of calm in the videos which leads to a beautiful collaboration. The videos are sometimes connected with the pictures, creating one story together. She doesn't like to explain the meaning of her work to the audience as she believes (and says) "this is where the magic is". It is so easy to be inspired by Elif's work. In the future, she will be creating face masks, cloths, new series and videos. After that who knows what other contraptions she has planned.
Hello Elif, what is the most prominent feature about yourself?
Hello, I sincerely thank you for the interview. I think my most prominent feature is likening things to other things all the time. I can't stop myself from doing so. The most recent example is of an insect with a large body I saw today; which looks exactly like a classical leather male shoe (to me anyway). This could be related to genes, since my grandmother calls my grandfather; The Skull.
Can you tell us a bit about you and your background?
I study art and this is my last year there. I mostly spend my time with my significant other who also creates work in mixed media. When I'm working, he becomes my assistant and vice versa. I'm usually absent minded and I misunderstand things. I don't see this as a problem; it leads me to more interesting thoughts. I used to make drawings before I started shooting photographs/videos. After I adapted myself to these media, I wanted to put the drawings in the pictures I take. As a result, the Stranger series came to life, which could be seen as a starting point of what I want to do. Other than that, I plan to sew clothing and design masks for my future works.
Some of your photographs and videos complete each other. What is the reason for this?
I'm into working with both media. It's like playing different games with the same toys. When I take pictures, I kill the ideas in my mind and when I shoot videos; I kill them slowly.
What are your inspirations and what aren't?
Human psychology fascinates me. The subconscious is my main inspiration. I don't like politics and it never inspires me as a subject.
Your photos have a lot to say. Do you like to mention what they are about or do you leave them to the audience to comment?
I have to say I'm really happy to hear a question like this. Generally people force me to tell the story or put a description. I'd prefer to leave it to the audience since I want the work to match a piece inside the viewer. I think the magic of a work lies here. I show the viewer some key signs and he/she creates a totally different story inside him/her. It's a nice game between the audience and the maker.
How do you start to make your videos?
Even though I dream a lot, I don't plan the exact scenario in a long time period. They hit me suddenly and if possible I shoot them at that moment. I know when it's here since I have a powerful feeling in my stomach moving like a cogwheel.
Do you want to stick with your surreal style or are you open for other perspectives?
I never intended to create works in a category or a movement. So I think I'm open to any kind of perspective.
Do you have any other projects you'd like to share with us?
At the moment I'm working on a videoclip of an alternative hip-hop band. The idea is to create a video which stands out from the genre. I'm also working on another personal photo-project. (Actually, I’m going to the textile bazaar for the materials after our chat!)