KUNSTRUKT: A NEW DANISH/TURKISH ARTIST COLLABORATION

Kunstrukt is an initiative that was established to develop creative projects and workshops by the Danish/Turkish artist duo, Lone Eriksen and Deniz Ozlu. We are based in Copenhagen and Istanbul.

Kunstrukt is our collective story. We met in 2010 while doing a masters in art at Goldsmiths University in London. We quickly became friends but it was only later that we decided to work together.

The name Kunstrukt came from the English word construct and the Danish word kunst which means art. Our posters and photographs play on the idea of transformation and reconstruction. We have for example transformed discarded guide books into book sculptures and posters, to give them a new value and meaning and to expose them as ideological constructs.

 Copenhagen Book 1993, Kunstrukt.

Copenhagen Book 1993, Kunstrukt.

 London AZ 2001, Kunstrukt.

London AZ 2001, Kunstrukt.

We have grown up in very different cultures. But we still have a shared understanding and outlook. None of us like to be overly attached to or defined by our nationalities but it has become very apparent that we live in different political and cultural realities.

We have both lived abroad for several years in London and New York but we are now based in Copenhagen and Istanbul. The distance between us is starting to shape our work. We are becoming more political because we are exposed to different situations and to different forms of governance, which ultimately affects the way we live and operate. Working together across countries is a challenge but it also fuels our collaboration and it helps us to look at our work from different perspectives.

 Kunstrukt in the studio in Istanbul, 2017.

Kunstrukt in the studio in Istanbul, 2017.

Our lives were transformed by art. We are makers, but we also experience the work of other artists and can point to specific encounters that influenced who we are as people and how we think about politics, culture and art. It’s empowering to discover that you have creative capacity and that it isn’t limited to specific activities. It’s a way of thinking and looking and acting that becomes part of who you are.

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 Interior Series, Konstrukt.

Interior Series, Konstrukt.

We want to democratise art. We are interested in working with people who are not artists and help them look at an issue or a phenomena from an art perspective. We believe that everyone has creative potential. This doesn’t mean that everyone will or can become an artists, but learning how to apply creativity is important because it brings a level of insight and because creativity is a power. We run creative workshops in Copenhagen. In our workshops participants may work with photography, film, graphics or writing, but the focus is always on the creative process. We show how to generate an idea and turn it into an object or a project.

Creativity can be used as a tool for activism. We have started working on projects that are participatory in nature for example with an NGO in Tunisia and we want to work with creativity in different countries in order to start forming global networks and collaborations.

 Book Installation in ShopiGo Store, Istanbul 2016.

Book Installation in ShopiGo Store, Istanbul 2016.

This is our manifesto:
Creativity is not limited to the arts or to artists. It’s an essential part of being human. People who are not educated in creative fields often underestimate their creative abilities. Creativity is portrayed as flashes of insight and chaos. In our experience it takes hard work and determination to turn an idea into a physical object or design.

We believe you can train creativity in the same way that you train a muscle. By combining intuition and play with a structured process we believe creativity has the best conditions to develop. Everyone has creative capacity but understanding how to apply it, takes practice.

We define creativity as the ability to develop ideas and turn them into something that is meaningful. We are actively working to create a space where creativity can grow to expand interest, knowledge and skill.

Art shouldn’t just be in museums, it should be in schools, workplaces, in public spaces and at home. We want to democratize art. If we want to move towards a more sustainable society we need to establish conditions where people are encouraged to create. Being a maker is empowering and has search for purpose and meaning at its core.

At the core of creativity is joy. But it is also worth developing creativity because it is the direct source of innovation and problem-solving. Used well it can be a tool that facilitates collaboration, communication, experimentation and play in everyday life. The benefits of developing creativity are infinite.

 Spectacle Series (Istanbul and Copenhagen), Kunstrukt

Spectacle Series (Istanbul and Copenhagen), Kunstrukt

Kunstrukt is an initiative that was established to develop creative projects and workshops by the Danish/Turkish artist duo, photographer, artist and art educator Lone Eriksen (b. 1981) and multidisciplinary designer, artist and lecturer Deniz Ozlu (b. 1983). They are based in Copenhagen and Istanbul. Kunstrukt have contributed to idoart.dk since 2017.