art 3mph: Can you give us some info about your background?
I grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and moved to New York City 7 years ago. I have a bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture and an MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media.
art 3mph: In your work, you dabble a lot with the archives, photography, video, and installation. Can you tell us a bit about your artistic practice and how it developed?
My practice forms an area between two and three-dimensional reinterpretation of various photographic archives, whether it’s personal albums or materials from the public sphere. Following this interest first I produced the series ‘Void’ where I was focused on the archive of Turkey’s first woman studio photographer, Maryam Sahinyan, and reinterpreted her space and transferred original figures into an abstracted studio setting. My current project ‘Foto Yeraz’ is an extension of my quest for new meanings in the tradition of studio photography and its connection to my Armenian identity. Foto Yeraz is a fictitious and vacant photo studio, where figures are absent, but spatial elements, such as large-scale backdrops and props, still continue to exist, in fact, they convert from serving as objects and start acting as subjects instead.
art 3mph: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Pretty much anywhere and everywhere. I’m not someone who can sit for hours and waits for the inspiration to arrive. I have to be in motion and going places. I can be inspired by a visit to a flea market, or by a random conversation with a stranger, or even by a song I’m listening to.
art 3mph: In your work, the figures in the photographs are often secondary to the setting, and the studio space. How do you make the decisions you make to remove certain aspects of a photograph? How would you describe your intention behind the work you do? How central are the themes of displacement and loss of identity to your work?
When talking about Studio Photography, figures are missing in my work and space becomes the subject instead. That is because I’m trying talk about an accumulation of images rather than an individual photograph. When looking back at these archives, the individual becomes less significant for the viewer (unless it’s a relative). So the repeating poses, props, backdrops come forward. As a member of the Armenian minority, the themes of displacement and loss of identity are crucial to my work.
art 3mph: What’s a day in your life like?
I actually live in East Village. So I commute between there and Bushwick, but I really enjoy both neighborhoods. They have very different characters and it’s fun to switch between them.
I’m a freelancer so I spend a lot of time at my studio either doing commercial work or my personal work. I share my studio with my best friend and partner at Pinkyellow Studio, so it’s never dull to be there!
Rehan Miskci (b. 1986, Istanbul) is a New York and Istanbul based visual artist working in photography, video, and installation. She holds an undergraduate degree in Interior Architecture from Istanbul Technical University and an MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her photographic series “Void” was selected as the first place winner at Baxter Street Camera Club of New York’s Annual Competition in 2015, and was exhibited in Lift Off at Fridman Gallery, curated by Elisabeth Biondi. She has participated in exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Munich, Beirut, and Istanbul.