12 Temmuz 2011 Salı

blog.art 21 by Elizabeth Wolfson

If Şener Özmen (the subject of last month’s Turkish and Other Delights post) is the godfather of Diyarbakır’s contemporary art community, then his long-time collaborateur, artist Cengiz Tekin, is its prankster, its Puck, and possibly (though this is pure speculation) its Keith Richards. He exudes a sly, crackling energy, walks with a fast gait just this side of nervous, and is constantly grinning, cracking jokes, and generally entertaining those around him. Despite the considerable language barrier between us (his English was definitely better than my Turkish, but then again my Turkish is limited to ordering takeout and buying groceries and bus tickets), Tekin was, along with Özmen, an engaging and endlessly generous host during my stay in Diyarbakır. I will never forget the two-hour bus ride we spent entertaining ourselves by going through a children’s Turkish-English textbook/dictionary at random, laughing hysterically at its bizarre contextualizing sentences for such essential vocabulary words as “lobster,” “beach ball,” and “criminal.”