Melis AlphanHürriyet Daily News
Self-taught photographer Çağlar Kanzık’s first solo exhibition opens today. Kanzık aims to discover past lives and portrays a foreign family moving a catamaran out of their house in Beşiktaş prior to returning home
Kanzık captured the puzzled faces of neighbors, Herve’s naive but confident rush, the despair of the crate operators, and the reserved attitude of a man who joined the team while passing by, all the while shooting with his right hand and pulling ropes with the other.
In Jim Jarmusch’s 1999 film, “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai,” there was a character building a boat on the roof of his house. The man was building it not to sail away in the ocean, but only because of a journey in his mind.
Over the years, Istanbul-based photographer Çağlar Kanzık recalled the scene again and again; then one day, a friend of his told him about something similar in Beşiktaş: A man was building a catamaran in his living room.
This was unique material for Kanzık, but he did not have much time, the man was set to move in two days.
Kanzık got his phone number, called him immediately and got his permission to take photos before his family moved back home after a seven-year stay in Istanbul.
In the photo exhibition called “Tahiti Wayfarer” that opens today and ends April 24 at G.F.İ. – Young Photography Initiative in Galata, Kanzık tried to document the story of Herve Bailen, his family and the maiden voyage of their Tahiti-style catamaran.
Kanzık went to the given address without any prior knowledge about the people, the catamaran, the building or any other details about the matter. He met Herve, his wife, Corinne, and their friends who came to help. Kanzık went upstairs and through the kids’ (Hector and Oscar) room to reach the terrace. Ropes were thrown, strings were attached and after a while, he was inevitably in the game.
During this four-story journey, Kanzık captured the puzzled faces of their neighbors, Herve’s naive but confident rush, the despair of the crate operators, and the reserved attitude of a man who joined the team while passing by, all the while shooting with his right hand and pulling ropes with the other.
It was a whole different experience for Kanzık. He recalls that day:
“The house was hectic. They had removed the glass from the living room window in order to take the canoes of the catamaran out. The afternoon sun was reflecting strongly in the house, and a crate operator was waiting outside. I was taking photos and at the same time trying to help as much as I could by sharing my thoughts on how to take the canoes out. I did as much as I could. I was going up to the terrace to take photos and then going down to the street to help with the ropes. In about four hours, both of the canoes were finally out.”
Kanzık said Herve was giving guitar lessons in Istanbul; after they finished moving all the stuff out, they gathered on the terrace to party and listen to Herve play guitar.
“Tahiti Wayfarer” is not only composed of aesthetically eye-pleasing photographs, but also tells the story of a foreign family who lived and brought up their kids in a characteristically Istanbul neighborhood, Beşiktaş.
This is Kanzık’s first solo exhibition. He started taking photographs professionally in 2007 with inspiration from Devin Yalkın. He usually captures scenes from streets, states of people and unusual circumstances. He is a self-taught photographer and owner of a gallery called Edisyon in Çukurcuma, Beyoğlu.