Anna Zizlsperger talks to Sinem Yoruk and Kerimcan Güleryüz
of Elipsis Gallery/The Empire Project
Let’s start with a simple question: How did your interest in photography start?
KG: Completely by accident. I graduated from high school, I came to Turkey. I was 18 years old, and I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Then a friend of a friend suggested that I start working for an advertising agency. Possibly as an office boy or something like that. And they were working for one in Istanbul at the time, Radar Reklam Ajansı, so they suggested I come into RPM and have an interview. While I was waiting to have the interview, one of the founders—Paul McMillen—walked in, and he asked me what I was doing there and I said “I am applying to be an office boy,” and he went “You, an office boy, pfah!“ and I was like “Shit, I’m not qualified…” He then took me into his office and we talked and he ended up hiring me to be his personal assistant. So I was his guy and there I was, going to learn everything that there was to know about photography in the commercial, practical, printing sense. I had never been in a dark room. I understood the principles of it. But I’d never been in one. I’d never really taken photography. I had always been interested in the arts but because of my father I felt very conflicted about trying to do something artistic. The thing that really intrigued me about photography was that it was an area that my dad didn’t know too much about, and it was something I could be a specialist in.