Last week I received this gorgeous book from Metehan Özcan. It is a truly inspiring book, well printed and a great selection of his work.
“In his exhibition named as “Vacuum”, Metehan Ozcan focuses on abandoned spaces. The houses, streets, and parks in Ozcan’s photographs are haunted by a subject who has left; in other words they are under the influence of a vacuum of the absent subject. Even if these images do not contain a single human figure, they tell various stories. Astoundingly, Ozcan’s photographs, do not give references to despair, melancholia or nostalgia. At first glance, these images where the traces of subjectivity are submitted to the mercy of silence, darkness, humidity and dust may appear as a requiem for the modern space; but then again, Ozcan’s perspective constructs a reality in which “the return of the repressed” and “the immanent uncanniness of the space” are embraced. An after hour darkness, silence and stillness of a fairground which can only exist with the light, joy and laughter; or the house which submits itself to the growing jungle that it had been externalizing since from its very foundation do not signify “the death of the space”, but celebrate an “other” kind of “rebirth” with a new face.”
Last week Max Sher a very talented photographer from St. Petersburg introduced himself with his series “KARS*”
“I changed from an amble to a round trot and arrived that evening at a Turkish village twelve miles from Kars. Having jumped down from my horse I wanted to enter the first hut, but the owner appeared in the doorway and pushed me away with a shower of abuse. I responded to his welcome with my whip. The Turk started bellowing; a crowd gathered. My guide, it seemed, had interceded on my behalf. I was shown a caravan-serai; I entered a large hut resembling a cattle shed; there was nowhere to spread my cloak. I demanded a horse. The Turkish headman came over to me. To all his incomprehensible words I gave the same reply: verbana at (give me a horse). The Turks would not agree. Finally I had the sense to show them money (which I should have done in the first place). A horse was brought immediately and I was given a guide. I rode along a wide valley, surrounded by hills. Soon I saw Kars, standing out white on one of them. My Turk kept pointing it out to me, repeating ‘Kars, Kars!’ and put his horse into a gallop. I followed him tormented by anxiety: it was in Kars that my fate would be decided”.
Alexander Pushkin, “A Journey to Arzrum”, 1829, translated by Brigitta Ingemanson.
*Kars is a town in northeastern Turkey near the Armenian border. From 1878 to 1918 it was part of Russia. This is where Orhan Pamuk’s novel “Snow” is set. Turkish for ‘snow’ is ‘kar’.