ABOUT KAMİL FIRAT
For Kamil Fırat one of the most elite of the Turkish art of Photography, the way to identify, conceive, see and understand the world and to say something about it, is by means of photography. The Artist, whose art as photographs and prints take place in numerous international museums and private collections, overlooks the times we live in from a metaphoric perspective, with his series. He has been working on photography and art theories since 1980. He teaches Art Theories, Aesthetics, Visual Communication, Photography Phenomenology and Documentary Photography at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. He opened exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. His works are in numerous museums and private collections. He is one of the founders of Adatepe Taş Mektep (Çanakkale). He is the curator of Bursa International Photography Festival from 2015.
The submarine bells are ringing for the ‘void’ touched upon by the minarets extending from the mist towards the sky. That void is where Istanbul was built…
Indeed... Istanbul is the shaping of this void that has surrounded it for thousands of years. From the architects of Hagia Sophia, İsidoros from Miletus and Anthemios from Tralleis, to the architect of the Sulaymaniyah Mosque, Sinan the Great, the people who built the city, in other words, shaped the void, turned it into the body of this city.
For this reason, Istanbul is a timeless city, which is always in touch distance but cannot be touched, it manages to escape when you think it is captured. It is a timeless city that is formed out of time-layers and that constantly flows.
You take a turn around a corner and you find yourself in three hundred years ago, you go up a ladder and live the present day. This city is a timeless city purely because it consists of corridors where different times intertwine.
This timelessness causes the city to be reborn every time the sun shows itself and thus to become a 'living city' that is rebuilt every single day.
Istanbul takes its color from the void that gives its shape and its color is undoubtedly blue…
ABOUT THE HORIZON
Being one of the most productive artists of Turkish photography, Fırat stretches towards the horizons with an entirely different frame in ‘About the Horizon’. The skyline at which he always looks from the same distance depicts the infinity, the distance to which it is impossible to get through, the nullity, the existence and so on. In his work in 2004, Fırat has experimented the circular frame in ‘the Dome’ for the first time. This was different from the commonly used frames. In his new exhibition, once again we look at Fırat’s photographs from within a circle. Thanks to his self-made camera, the artist has achieved the circular frame. That is to say that there is no involvement whatsoever in the photographs. The camera, which was designed in 2002, provides an 86 mm diameter image on a 4x5 inch film. Fırat gives insight to his tendency towards the circular form and says:
When I have first started to work on ‘the Dome’, I have realised that the matter of ‘recurrence’ that belongs to the East was highly important. The ‘recurrence’ is found in time, as well as in patterns and adornments… Hence, there should be no limits. Even though the circle is as well limited, its limits are not similar to those of a square form. That is to say, the matter of circularity was decisive. The horizon does not have limits either… Perhaps our eyes might limit the horizon, but we cannot actually talk about a limit to it. When I have brought this together with the time matter, once again the circle has emerged...
Everything is in this circle.
‘When I was designing the camera, I have started from a very trivial point regarding the photograph. All the lenses produce a circular image. I have come up with a design while pondering upon how to get the whole image produced by the lens.’
The photographs in the exhibition, alongside evoking eternity, make one feel as though one is watching, if not observing the horizon with binoculars. They also generate calmness, silence, emptiness and 'nothingness' ... Kamil Firat asserts that ‘everything that exists is in this circle’ and elucidates what he has found and seen in the 'horizon':
‘All those emptiness, fullness, existence and nonexistence, life and death, all of those actually find their representation in the skyline. In reality, therefore, everything about the world lies behind everything I have about the horizon. Though, everything about the world in this conceptual sense…’