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Istanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments by Timurtas Onan

Posted on January 27, 2021 - By Timurtaş Onan
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Istanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments by Timurtas Onan
Istanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments by Timurtas Onan
As one of the key figures of contemporary photography in Turkey and known for his projects in different concepts on Istanbul, Timurtaş Onan offers us a retrospective selection of his works between 2000-2020 in his new book 'Istanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments'.

Since the 1980s, when he started taking photographs, he has framed Istanbul many times and with his photographs leading the audience around the city's venues, and this time he is leading them around the places of change. He presents to us the frames he recorded in his visual memory with details from the streets of Istanbul

He is taking us to a place that we do not remember the time we walked past, to a memory that we do not exactly remember the time we went through. As subjective as it is, these frames are fragments of the common memory we share.

While we look at these photos and feel many similar feelings about the city of İstanbul together, perhaps what looms large is the change and transformation that we have witnessed socially.

How did we face the numerous transformations and changes between 2000 and 2020, how do we still face them? He interprets a periodic truth as if broadcasting a black and white movie.

Onan also interprets the language of this past time, the everyday world, marking the change that is the only thing that will not change. He transfers the sociocultural change of Istanbul, of the age and life along with it, to the future with visual records of this change.

As we travel through Istanbul, the city of contrasts, the city of light and shadow, we not only observe a personal inner world, but also remember something from our experiences and changes of the past, and we get immersed in its conversation.

when we turn the pages of the book, we not only observe a personal inner world, but also recall something from our experiences and changes from the past, and dive into his conversation. 'Istanbul: A City Of Strange and Curious Moments' accompanied by the city's flaws and uniquenesses, takes us on the beautiful and strange journeys of Istanbul,

You can visit the artist's website www.timurtasonan.com for more information and to purchaseTimurtaş Onan's photobook Istanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments , limited to 300 copies.

Timurtaş Onan

© Timurtaş Onan



Timurtaş Onan

© Timurtaş Onan



Timurtaş Onan

© Timurtaş Onan


Foreward
Offering a cross-section of Timurtaş Onan's artistic life, Istanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments contributes to Istanbul's history as an archive of street photographs taken by the artist between 2000 and 2020. Since the 1980s, when he started taking photographs, he has framed Istanbul many times and with his photographs leading the audience around the city's venues, and this time he is leading them around the places of change. He presents to us the frames he recorded in his visual memory with details from the streets of Istanbul. I would like to invite you here to this book which I think takes us on a short journey of Timurtaş Onan's art practice with a subjective text.

How can we best know an artist? From the practice of art that conveys his visual language to us; his works and the method he used to create them, the subjects he focused on and his approaches to these subjects. Perhaps even though we know little about the artist's background or worldview, it is enough to examine his work to create a bond between us. Who is this artist? What is he like? What kind of conversations were we immersed in through living in the same city with him, through sharing the same culture? Perhaps, thanks to a single connection we have established through his works, the answers to these questions conjure up in our mind, even before we have met.

It is very possible to feel as if you were in a familiar place you had been before in the image world that Timurtaş Onan conveyed to the audience in İstanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments, from a subjective point of view. He is taking us to a place that we do not remember the time we walked past, to a memory that we do not exactly remember the time we went through. Onan, who started photography under the influence of cinema, revitalizes in our minds what we were doing at the time, what was going through our minds, like the sequences of a black and white film.

As subjective as it is, these frames are fragments of the common memory we share. Often instances from the stops of daily life journeys; from metro, ferry or bus stops. As we travel through Istanbul, the city of contrasts, the city of light and shadow, we not only observe a personal inner world, but also remember something from our experiences and changes of the past, and we get immersed in its conversation. Susan Sontag says that photographs limit reality, that we will never possess the truth, but that we can only possess images. We can't preserve the moment with photographs, but we can preserve the past. While we look at these photos and feel many similar feelings about the city of İstanbul together, perhaps what looms large is the change and transformation that we have witnessed socially.

How did we face the numerous transformations and changes between 2000 and 2020, how do we still face them? He interprets a periodic truth as if broadcasting a black and white movie. The places in the background of İstanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments such as the Galata Bridge, Taksim Square, Haydarpaşa symbolize İstanbul's uniqueness. In summer, those who enter the sea from the Bosporus, fishermen lined up alongside the coastal road, umbrellas opened in the winter rain of Istanbul, cars lined up one after the other in Istanbul traffic after work ... They're all familiar, all part of Istanbul's past times and the city's freedom.

Onan also interprets the language of this past time, the everyday world, marking the change that is the only thing that will not change. He transfers the sociocultural change of Istanbul, of the age and life along with it, to the future with visual records of this change.

We look at the big picture of our own stories, our daily lives. The variety of emotions felt in the hustle and bustle of everyday life is part of this picture. A love of Istanbul revealed by admiration, resentment, sometimes compassion or pity for the city, the moments when we pray for the city we live in, exist alongside each other. Onan's street photos, which have their own narratives, sometimes starring stray dogs, seagulls, cats, and the voices of children playing in the street often resonate in the background. The intimacy and humanity in the story of the streets reflecting the spirit of this city, which is difficult to love or hate, stands out.

A lot of diversity, a lot of loudness, is always in the frames of İstanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments. What we believe in, what we take refuge in, are very diverse in İstanbul. In most photos featuring Atatürk paintings hung up in the shops, mosques, churches, Turkish Flags on the street, scenes of people practicing yoga, there is an intermingling of the physical and the social.

Nature and the city have intertwined through transformation over the years. The photograph of the goat standing in front of a plaza, reminds us of the inevitable strangeness of Istanbul, where nature and the city coexist.

One of the visuals that best points to the moment where we pause in the time of change in the journey of transformation is the photograph of the man sitting on a boat in Golden Horn. No other frame could summarize our journeys in the ongoing flow in İstanbul, the story that Onan passed on to the audience as good as the cover photo.

On a short journey, the sea overlaps with the image of the man looking out to the sea through the window.

And the man has become one with the sea, one with the city The city and the sea have intertwined, transforming into a journey.

The stories told by Timurtaş Onan in İstanbul: A City of Strange and Curious Moments also take us on the beautiful and strange journeys of Istanbul, accompanied by the city's flaws and uniqueness.

Yonca Keremoğlu


Timurtaş Onan

© Timurtaş Onan



Timurtaş Onan

© Timurtaş Onan



Timurtaş Onan

© Timurtaş Onan



Timurtaş Onan

© Timurtaş Onan



Timurtaş Onan

© Timurtaş Onan



Timurtaş Onan

© Timurtaş Onan



Timurtaş Onan

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