Notes to Odunpazarı Modern Museum from under quarantine
Renowned fashion photographer and director Osman Özel documents his life in an official quarantine center in Istanbul during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and shared his observations with Odunpazarı Modern Museum’s (OMM) editorial director, Büşra Erkara.
Özel has been documenting his experience of life in an official quarantine center in Başakşehir, a suburb of Istanbul, since arriving in Istanbul from Paris on March 17. The artist was self-isolating in a dormitory until 5 p.m. on March 31 under government-dictated conditions.
His black and white photographs capture and provide insight into the residents isolation, efforts to stay united, sterile environment and shifting psychologies, with the artist’s longing poetic gaze to the outside world not only reflecting his own experience, but the deep isolation we have all suddenly found ourselves in.
He has been sharing his experiences OMM editorial director Büşra Erkara, which can be read on OMM Journal. In addition to the photographer’s quarantine diary, OMM will showcase Özel’s photographs and video footage on its Instagram account @ommxart every other day.
“It is becoming tiring to keep up with the outside world with my phone and iPad, for people to keep calling and asking how I am. It’s meaningless traffic that knows no end. We don’t speak about anything with depth, we don’t do each other any good. The weird social media challenges people have come up with to spend their time in the last few days made me reconsider this. One of the messages I remember and have been thinking about in quarantine is: If I’m a link in the chain, what do I have to communicate to the other links I’m in contact with?”
The title “Notes from the Under Quarantine” is inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Notes from the Underground or Letters from the Underworld,” which is an 1864 novella, considered by many to be one of the first existentialist novels.