Friday, June 13, 2014

Emotional cartography

"Looking at things too much celebrated, like views of beautiful cities, is equal to not seeing anything at all. Our brain, as soon as [it] acknowledges the images, doesn't need to work on them."*
A patch of earth. A dinner plate. A gas station. A row of chairs. The subjects of young Turkish photographer Cemre Yeşil's series "This Was" ("Bak Bu") are the polar opposites of those discussed by curator Vittorio Urbani in his introduction to an unrelated (though nearby) exhibit. They are things little celebrated, and often not even noticed. But by pairing these simple, yet skillfully composed, camera-phone images with short bits of handwritten text, each work becomes a moving exploration of how the angle of a loved one's foot or a nondescript spot by the sea can evoke powerful personal memories; how the joys and losses we experience attach themselves to the places we pass through everyday, superimposing an emotional map onto the physical one.

Walking home from the exhibit, I was inspired to capture a few of the spots on my own emotional map of the neighborhood in similar style, a humble tribute to Yeşil's fine work, on display through this weekend at Daire Sanat.

This is where I found his cat.

This is how I first learned my way.

This is where I ran in fear.

This is where my heart once sang.

Cemre Yeşil's exhibition "Bak Bu // This Was" can be seen at Daire Sanat on Boğazkesen Caddesi No: 76A, Tophane, Beyoğlu, through June 15. The gallery is open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday by appointment only.

* Quoted from curator Vittorio Urbani's introduction to Italian artist Flavio Favelli's exhibition "Grape Juice," showing at the Galata Rum Okulu in Karaköy until June 14.

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