Photographic images are the traces of light which is directly reflected from the objects. Therefore, it would not be inaccurate to state that “light” and “time” are the raw materials of photography. Light is one of the most significant and necessary preconditions of the eyesight. For instance, light is a precondition of visual perception. Since the basic human perception is the visual one, we can perceive only the objects which become visible through the traces that light leaves.
Photographs are formed by the concepts of light and time, and, at the same time, they are the indicators of emotional adventures. The harmony between the story of the photograph taken and the past events of the photographer’s life constructs the dramatic structure of those images. The photographer incorporates his feelings from the past, some traces from his life and his own perspective in each photo frame. In a sense, he looks at the photograph “from inside”. This look is “a direct look”. Apart from the existence of the image, the photographer looks at it from inside and beyond.
The emergence of a photograph is an issue that is related to timing, and it is not coincidental. In fact, no photograph is taken as a coincidence. Photography is to set off a journey with the aim of knowing life, following the light, becoming free with the light, becoming oneself with the light and becoming alive with the light. This entire struggle about creating an image is simultaneously related to the individual’s quest for his own self. The existence of the spatial and temporal construct, which comes into being in the nature of the image, revives with the photographer’s subjective interpretation.
With his works entitled “Silent Light” (1997-1999) and “Distant Light” (2007-2009), photograph artist A.Kadir Ekinci “follows the light” to “seek the light”. These works of photography are the consequences of a systematic study. In “Silent Light”, the “time” is the end of the previous century, and the “place” is Kars, the “farthest” region of Anatolia. In those photographs, Ekinci looks “from inside” at the lands to which he owns his existence by going to his village and the places where he spent his childhood and youth. By following the light that defeats the darkness, he becomes the voice of the “silent light”. By sneaking in every crack through which he finds his way, he enables us to see, comprehend and perceive the life in inner spaces under the light that illuminates those cracks. “Silent Light” remains silent, and he tells us the life with his photographs.
Ten years after “Silent Light”(2007-2009), A.Kadir Ekinci is still in the same lands following the light. To find “Silent Light”, he traces in the streets of Kars, which are far away and close, cold and also hot. In his “Silent Light” photographs, he introduces us to a Kars that searches for the past, and which is “far away from the eye” but “not from the heart” with its architecture, climate and people. For the artist, the complexity of the climatic and geographic conditions is a matter of indifference. He turns his camera to the streets that are covered with snow, the buildings with different cultural reflections, the houses and their penthouses from which icicles dangle, the geometric lines of cold railroads which separate or unite people, and the warm faces of the children who simile behind the glasses which are covered with ice. By looking at them from an equal distance, he brings back to life the traces of lives which are frozen in the silhouettes of the people who sneak like shadows on the streets covered with snow, in the snow-white flat places that give the impression of being limitless, on the reflections on water, in the joy of the children who play in the courtyards of historical places, and on the frozen glasses on which lace-like patterns are formed. The light in the photographs of Ekinci turn out to be the documents of historical and social culture by utilizing spatial and temporal construct, and the artist’s subjective interpretation. He bears witness to the culture from which he comes from by using photographic language. Apart from the photographs’ documentary quality, artistic interpretation is also added. In addition, as it is comprehended from its name, it becomes possible to see how “silent”, “distant” and to a certain extent sad lives become alive, and are transformed into works of art with the support of light.
A.Kadir Ekinci’s black-and-white stories, which start with “Silent Light” and continue with “Distant Light,” carry the viewer away from a colorful and real life to the surrealism of black-and-white photography. Despite the “silence” and “distance” of light, they defeat the darkness and illuminate life. With these works in which he traces his own life and his own stories, A.Kadir Ekinci proceeds on his own way with his eyes, heart and brain, and by following the light that illuminates the darkness.
Assist. Prof. Dr. A. Beyhan Özdemir
December / 2009