Everything is temporal, and morphs into various forms of itself. Day meets night, cold greets heat, rain blends with soil – the root of all toil. The universe is in constant motion. Cameras are a mere opportunity for skillful photographers to grasp these transformations.
Kars is our best gift from the South. This place has lulled countless civilizations to sleep in its cradle; it has swaddled cultures with a motherly embrace, and nourished them with care. It has watched them blossom. Life in Kars goes on in its authentic, distinctive manner, despite of the various geographic and climatic difficulties.
Life is a struggle not for humans alone, but for all beings. Nature belongs not only to humans, but to animals, and plants alike. In order for the world to keep spinning, all beings need each other. The universe is our common ground, and even the slightest disturbance would bring colossal damage to the overall balance.
And of course, the photograph… it shows you what you cannot see, brings close what is far, teaches you what you do not know, awakens curiosity, and opens doors to new horizons. Being captured in a photograph makes you present, makes you a witness of that moment. The world of photographs can make you experience the inevitable reality of the photographer’s moment of verdict, feel this instant from the exact angle of their camera, as if you were there.
“Mal Meydanı” is a project Kadir has worked on for ten years. However, his memories stretch all the way back to his childhood. Naturally, there is a difference between growing up with the sight of Mal Meydanı, and revisiting it after many years. When A. Kadir Ekinci goes to Kars and visits Mal Meydanı with a camera in his hands, as a photographer, he has the ability to reflect this social phenomenon with a more valuable statement. The seeing eyes of the child have now turned into the reflecting eyes of an adult. A. Kadir Ekinci creates his images by blending his great aptitude for reflection and immense ardor.
A photograph shows everything from the points where the camera is deployed. It does so, however, by conveying us its one-eyed, two-dimensional world. It would appear a bit trimmed to our three-dimensional perception. Further, our color-discerning eyes would object to the initial deluge of black and white. What is more, sounds and colors would be left out of the frame. As tragic as these inevitable omissions seem, they will be made up for by a strategic use of light and composition to result in completeness.
Winter, snow, historical constructions, a world of nature and animals. Kars has always been like a fairytale with an unknown author. As it is in every fable, from Aesop to La Fontaine, Kars also has a story told by the animals in their own language. A. Kadir Ekinci’s well-known poetic photographs now cover a social structure spreading throughout hundreds of years, a tradition he wants to reveal to us from a different perspective and with photographic aesthetics. Whether it is the cows and calves, or the exchange taking place between buyers and sellers, he reflects the vibrancy of the place like an informer, with a lot of sincerity and spontaneity.
In his book “Mal Meydanı”, A. Kadir Ekinci tells us his story from his own point of view through images. A tradition, a culture is expressed in the language of a camera through the eyes of a photographer coming from that same place. If one day husbandry becomes extinct, these photographs, taken with precision, will remain as documents capsulating our individuality, never to be forgotten.
(1It is an expression used at the market place, showing good will.)