Elif Batuman and Sibel Horada

This episode of Artists On Writers | Writers On Artists reunites two old friends—novelist Elif Batuman, and artist Sibel Horada—who began their conversation years ago when they met in Istanbul. Here, they commiserate about the uncomfortable relevance of Russian novels, how archeology reveals something about the present time, and ways to leave enough room inside a work for readers and viewers to find their own way inside of it, as well as many other topics. Batuman’s newest book, Either/Or, is out now with Penguin Press. Horada’s work is currently on view in the 5th Mardin Biennial, which is up through June 20.

Elif Batuman’s first novel, The Idiot, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK. She is also the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. She has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010 and holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford University.

Based in Istanbul, artist Sibel Horada focuses on collective and personal histories with an interest in urban, archaeological and ecological cultures. She investigates memories of erasure with stories that weave together strange, coincidental details. For her, memory is not only the act of recollection, but also a process of reproduction and transformation. Using text and forms, she materializes her encounters in poetic sculptures and installations. Horada has shown in many institutions in Turkey and Europe, including MAC museum Vienna, Depo Istanbul, Ludwigsburg Kunstverein, Hannover Kunstverein and Matadero Madrid.

Artists On Writers Writers On Artists brings together luminaries in the fields of art and literature to have the conversations they themselves wish to have. This monthly video series is a joint production of Artforum and Bookforum.