Contemporary photography of Turkey revealed

Contemporary photography of Turkey revealed

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Contemporary photography of Turkey revealed

A work by Sinan Tuncay. ‘Close Quarters’ is an exhibition in which the artists focus on their own lives and the situations with which they come in contact rather than discovering remote places.

Istanbul Modern Museum is hosting its new exhibition, started on May 9, “Close Quarters,” which focuses on contemporary photography in Turkey. The exhibition brings together around the idea of personal documentation the works of 18 artists selected by the Istanbul Modern Photography Advisory Board consisting of Merih Akoğul, Orhan Cem Çetin, Murat Germen and Sıtkı Kösemen. Without limiting itself to printed photographs, the exhibition includes diverse forms of presentation such as video and installation. In the exhibition, individual works become part of an arrangement to acquire meaning within their own unity.

“Close Quarters” is an unusual record of the personal and the ordinary. It is an exhibition in which, to take pictures, the artists focus on their own lives and the situations with which they come in contact rather than discovering remote places. Artists featured in the exhibition are: Özgür Atlagan, Fatma Belkıs, Dilan Bozyel, Yusuf Darıyerli, Cemil Batur Gökçeer, Ege Kanar, Korhan Karaoysal, Metehan Özcan, Civan Özkanoğlu, Emir Özşahin, Muhitin Eren Sulamacı, Özlem Şimşek, Sinan Tuncay, Gözde Türkkan, Devin Yalkın, Begüm Yamanlar, Sarp Kerem Yavuz and Cemre Yeşil.

Far from the documentary photography’s claim to neutrality and from the constructedness of stage photography, the works in the exhibition trace personal narratives; like a minutely kept diary, the lives of the artists, their close circles and memories are materialized in photography. By opening the doors to different interpretations, the images use the power of their equivocacy and not an authoritative voice that imposes their meaning. Among the details of everyday life emerges the charm of the ordinary, and these images, which seem familiar, reach significance in other people’s stories.

These works combine the different forms of presentation and representation of photography. In this sphere, in which individual expression and subjective reality come to the fore, the technical aspect of photography takes a back seat, and, through an amateur language, the distance between viewer and artist starts to close.

Besides analog photographs, through pictures taken with mobile phones, scanned images of found photographs, damaged archives, photography-based videos, and interactive images, photography becomes an indirect means of communication. In the exhibition, individual photographs become part of an arrangement in the form of videos, installations, or prints, to acquire meaning within their own unity.

Reflections of different movements

Sena Çakırkaya, the head of the Photography Department, said, “The artists’ personal experiences bear social marks and when we enter the world of each of the artists we can see the reflections of different moments from our own lives.”

Noting that in these images, at times ordinary details and momentary snapshots become personal narratives, she said when standing before these images, viewers may come to realize what had gone unnoticed in the flow of life, or, they may have the impression that they are lurking on the edge of the artist’s intimate world to steal a furtive glance.

Çakırkaya added: “No doubt the personal gaze of artists incorporates not just the intimate, but political and social concerns as well. On the background of the reflected emotional states are traces of subjects such as urban life, the public sphere, family relationships, norms and social belonging.

Personal experiences find their place within the collective memory and become political.”
The exhibition will continue until Oct. 27.