concise selection from a huge cycle
How can one approach a photographic project in a foreign city, how can one conceive of its images if one does not wish to operate in the service of a touristic cliche industry? I am at a loss to find the answer and we drift around following visual clues as they present themselves.
For the exhibition "De-Regulation" I propose a visual essay on Istanbul, an essay whose relation to Kutlug Atamans video work is neither illustrative nor anecdotal. Rather than an art historical or representational form of contextualisation, this visual essay works to open up a subject. My overall interest is focused on how an image emerges as a process, rather than as the representation of something that pre-exists it. My perception and memory of the work that has taken place usually constitute themselves in cycles or in sequences, rarely in singular images. These images do not follow the logic of a clear cut argument, rather they circle around each other and bring forth a thematic subject. As seemingly trivial and quotidian images are confronted with politically, religious and culturally loaded representations, they take on a range of new meanings. Therefore my interest in a compilation has nothing to do with an authenticreconstruction of the original spatial arrangement in situ, but with exiting the regime of true representation and entering another of relational content.
When one is uncertain of the consequences of being poised with one foot each on separate continents, perhaps one devines in this state some great and unexpected powers. In precisely such a tension does the urban fiction of Istanbul come into being. How does one conduct oneself in such a fiction, how does one speak it – in which language, through the lens of what cultural consciousness and finally what stories would be told here?
In a city whose perception is constituted out of so many cliches, one struggles for other images and terms, hoping to avoid an outcome in which viewer’s preconceptions are confirmed or denied. Drifting around in selected neighbourhoods, meant for us an experience of a lustfull persuit of the urban as well as an acceptance of its numerous, undefined gaps. While I am taking photographs, we are bestowing our concepts on the urban formations through our discussions.
The image cycle shown here does not follow a particular purpose but is guided along by our divergent interests: what emerges as significant often comes to the fore from the sidelines. We are searching for a phantasma of conflict, perceiving finally that it is not only located in one continent but is equally rift by intercontinental forces.
For the exhibition: DE-REGULATION with the work of Kutlug Ataman, curatet by Irit Rogoff, MuHKA Antwerp (March–May 2006) and Herzlija Museum Tel Aviv (December 2006–February 2007)
(Leica M6, Summilux 1:1,4/50, Fuji-Provia 100F, scanned from slide)