Library of
Design, Art and Idea


Vol. 11

Street art at streets of Ankara

Autor: Kazım Şimşek

Avareler (Wanderers) is an independent art initiative founded in 2011... The team is especially active in Ankara and their choice of venue is usually the streets. They are in motion within the organic unity of the street, which is the basis they use to determine their reflexes most of the time. It is perhaps for these qualities that their growth is so swift. This process is in a form particular to street style. Up until the moment the work in the atelier meets the audience, it does not touch the idle relationships of the multi layered art market, it does not get involved with agents, and it becomes directly visible.

The currency and the emotional warmth of the moment the works are created may coincide with the time when the audience can see and perceive them. This also enables the responses to reflect the same warmth. The self-evaluation can also be made within a short time. And the new works continuously set the bar higher for more challenging and better thought out structures.

One of the most interesting aspects of Avareler’s works is that they convey their message directly to the audience. They present their works through a slogan-like statement at times, or an ironic expression of arts at others. They are very interested in Ankara’s local agenda, and they present political humor in a style that the city is highly unaccustomed to. However, their works are aimed at the perception of the local audience. When you come across Avareler’s works on the street, their style of expression seems to be pointing at you. For instance, the slogan of a work they created with the photographs of “saz” (a local stringed instrument) masters may be, “I am not telling you not to listen to blues, you listen to your saz, and then you can listen to blues too,” while in another piece that touches the memory they may say, “Kids, don’t forget ‘leapfrogging’”. Yet another example of their irreverent activities can be painting the city’s power plants and idle walls pink one night.

In this time frame when the art scene is constantly moving to Istanbul, when even the Asian part of Istanbul is argued to be in the periphery, the attitude of Avareler is not to stand out in Istanbul with regrets and complaints, but rather to preserve their existence by taking a stance with their own artistic expression against a wider perception of art. It is even positioned as a call, an embrace from Ankara. And all of this is perhaps a hope to solve the problem of Turkey’s monocentric art space.

Vol. 11
Nazım Serhat Fırat Yaşar Kemal