Arpi Agdere is a Los Angeles based artist originally born in Istanbul. She graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 2013, and works mainly with photography, video and installation. Her first LA solo show, Punctum, opened in August of 2015. Please enjoy this selection of recent work, along with a Q&A.
What brought you to Los Angeles, and what keeps you here?
Moving here was my parents dream and we moved out here for better opportunities. I've realized how much freedom and diversity I have surrounding me.
How has living in L.A. changed your art?
Living in LA and being influenced by my surrounding/ artists has really given me the freedom to shape my understanding of art. The projects I want to work on constantly change and shift.
What comparisons can you make between Los Angeles and Istanbul?
L.A definitely has a more laid back vibe vs Istanbul which is full of chaos. I can say I needed both in order to relate to the world.
Can you talk a little about the process of making the works you showed in your last solo show, Punctum?
Title of the show Punctum is the aspect of photography that touches one personally and emotionally in ways that perhaps are not analyzable or controllable by reason. Barthes uses the word to “wound” – the Punctum “wounds” you thereby establishes a relationship with you that is intimate - but it is a “wound” that resonates so deeply, or opens up memories and desires that are so physically present that one needs to return to this “wound” and to keep rediscovering what else might lie there.
The black hole that figures prominently in the images owes its origin to early 20th century when photographic negatives were often destroyed by punching a hole through them with a paper puncher and then carefully archived. I've combined both of these thought processes to create the work.
It is very important to me that while distorting my images I still retain the essence of my subject. It is about transformation without being destroyed completely. I'm interested in understanding how an image is made, what it means and the difference between making and destroying that image.
What makes a good portrait?
Something that feels genuine - not defined by the definition of what a portrait should visually look like.
It is very important to me that while distorting my images I still retain the essence of my subject. It is about transformation without being destroyed completely. I’m interested in understanding how and image is made, what it means and the difference between making and destroying that image. - Arpi Agdere
When and where were you most happy?
I am happy most days.
Do you have a lucky number?
8 and 9.
What is your favorite film?
Stan Brakhage Dog Star Man
We're living in the golden age of __________.
Best and Worsts of 2015?
Worst of 2015 minor health problems - not finishing a project. Overall a great year though! Best of 2015 was having a solo show and travels to NY, Seattle and spending time in the Desert for a month.
Visit Arpi Agdere online: http://arpiagdere.com