A Subjective Panorama of Contemporary Turkish Photography
Curated by Kerimcan Guleryuz
Maison des Mettalos, Paris
3.04.2009 – 29.05.2009
Cliches and stereotypes are a commonplace of the act of orienting ourselves in our environment; we are all led down strange paths embellished with imagery. The origins of these imaginal associations or imprints are often forgotten or unexamined. When we take an associative mental tour of a significant destination such as a great city, we have recourse to landmarks: the Eiffel Tower, The Empire State Building, London Bridge or the Hagia Sophia - all act as cultural landmarks which are the starting points for our projected journeys.
In the case of Turkey, the images formed in the minds of those from other places are less distinct, less current, less accurate, and carry a weight of associations that have even less to do with the reality of the place then the caricatures and generalizations embodied in the examples mentioned above.
While the selection of artists and their images presented here is not meant to be an ambitious attempt to set the record straight, I hope it will show how varied and multifaceted the real landscape is, beyond the accretion of assumptions and preconceived notions that today serves as the basis of 'cultural dialogue'.
Each artist taking part in this show has been selected for their individual strength of vision and their unique personal focus. Whether we are confronting the vestiges of an empire and trying to come to grips with it in a modern city (as in the works of Taptik, Asci or Elhan) or moving through the human interior (as in the case of Topcuoglu or Tara) the artists presented here broaden our appreciation of the landmark images that provide orientation in the minds of artists working in the nation of Turkey today.
Ahmet Elhan,Ali Taptik, Alp Sime, Ansen, Arif Asçi, Arslan Sükan, Emine Ceylan, Halil Koyutürk, Lale Tara, Nazif Topçuoglu