It must be due to our country’s conditions; those who want to continue their lives in the field of arts or those who want to make the art a part of life, are only able to perform their choice by working in other business that can support them economically. The situation is not much different when our country’s photography community is considered. Except for the few photographers who have started to work in this field with the first step they took to their photographic journey; we can see that most of the people we met their works today are funding their photography studies with the income earned from a profession other than photography.
This being the case, like many artists, photographers has to spend great labor and effort to perform exhibitions, books or catalogue studies for to share their productions. Of course, the results should be worth all these efforts, art workers continue to have themselves in the arts despite all these difficulties.
Kadir Ekinci is one of these photographers I mentioned above, who is continuing this journey since 1992 which he has chosen as a method to have himself. He is currently working in a public institution. So far, he involved in various exhibitions with his photographs, received awards, and has been able to bring together the audience with his two projects as solo exhibitions. Most important, today he has a book that he shares his products of 20 years of his labor: Silent and Distant Light.
Language of photography is a specific language. As in all areas of art, in order to be able to use this language properly also in photography; it is not sufficient to be educated, to know and use the technique well. It is necessary to be in relation with both other fields of art and disciplines such as sociology, philosophy, to follow the dynamics of the society we live in and also to have the sensitivity of an artist that covers all of these. However, since photography is the detachment of a certain part of life from life itself with the choices of the photographer, namely a kind of copy of life, demonstrating the identity of the photographer is one of the most important requirements in order to create an original work in the field of photography. Otherwise, it is not possible to be able to say “I exist” in the field of photography by producing duplicated photographs.
Everyone has a journey towards himself. The type of this journey varies by anyone. During the journey chosen by the photographer; the photographer produces the photograph to meet their own self, perhaps a kind of self-communication, confronting with themselves or maybe to understand themselves. It is a journey of the photographer in order to get closer to his own. How honest, sincere and natural is the photographer during this journey, so the photographs belong to the photographer, they can reflect what the photographer wants to say with all its purity and nudity. And a photographer can tell a thing within himself, can he tell something not in?
When we look to the work of Kadir Ekinci, we see that the subjects of his photographs are pieces of his own life and voice of his own searching within this life. Ekinci preferred not going far away to search for each human’s self-questionings, not searching at far but to search within the nearest, his past and present. He used the technical language of photography and disciplines that affect this language in order to strengthen the narrative of his story.
Silent and Distant Light consists of two most prominent works of Ekinci within his projects that take years, consists of the photographs of Silent Light and Distant Light projects and both projects’ working period have taken 3 years. The photographs of Silent Light have met with the audience in his personal exhibitions in Istanbul and Ankara in 2001. Distant Light was exhibited on January 2010 in Ankara. Silent Light mostly includes the conceptual works taken from his own life environment of Ekinci who was born in Kars. In Distant Light, Kars is expressed as a city through the eyes of Ekinci. However, this expression does not look like the conventional city photographs, we encounter with photographs with taste of fairy tale via the photographic preferences of Ekinci. We watch a city tale in the photographs as if watching a fairy tale. These photographs are like a fairy tale but also very real at the same time. Maybe that’s why as if every photo has a part from us. Aren’t the happiest and most unforgettable parts of our lives like that? Both like a fairy tale and real…
Articles of the distinguished names of Photography of Turkey on Silent and Distant Light take place in the preface of the album. Tuğrul Çakar, one of our photographers who is continuing his photography and training studies in Ankara says in his article:
“In order to see the difference in Ekinci’s works, the people who have recently started to walk on the long road of photography should think once again. When Ekinci brought together the significance of continuing his works there, in the lands where he was born and grew up with the images in his mind, he went to his village, to the place where spent his childhood. In that way, he went halfway down. The photograph is not distant to you. You do not have to go to a distant place to find it. Even the photograph that you aspire to take is the part of a moment that you will pull out of the ongoing life; you should search for the images at the closest place to your eyes, in your brain.”
Certainly it is very different to see the photographs not through the computer screens but in exhibitions or albums. Ekinci’s album is a 180 pages and 30X30 in size book prepared both in English and Turkish. The album published as 1000 issues includes a total of 80 black & white photographs as 40 of them are in Distant Light section and 40 photographs are in Silent Light section.
Photograph may look like being created within a moment of pressing the shutter. In fact, it is indeed. However, to deepen the photograph towards its identity that meets sometimes a history of several lifetimes and the future from its identity being reduced to that fleeting moment and to duplicate the meaning are being realized with the identity and sensitivity of the person pressing the shutter. Today, almost everybody is a photographer today since photograph is easy! But, at the same time, photography is difficult and also very difficult, for this reason it is also difficult being and to be “a photographer”.
Özcan Yurdalan one of the important names of documentary photography and photo interview, says in his article in the album that he criticizes the photography producers by using this simplicity of photography as below:
“While telling the story of his short life on this planet, the species called human being expresses what he sees, but his awareness about what he loses sight of is equally essential. Thus, the photographers happen to be the most unfortunate species because all the photographs that they take throughout their lifetimes are nothing than the stories of their lives. Nobody can hold responsible a photographer who says “I have seen these” from the things that he sees but does not show. However, the photographers who make the best of life with images that leave traces in history and who manage to participate in the period of change, are the people who become aware of neglected things and the ones that are made invisible in the public sphere. In a sense, they are the people who stay away from clichés, who chase questions rather than answers, and who make photography the tool of an attempt of comprehension…”
“The city of Kars to which Kadir went several times and took photographs between 2007 and 2009, is a big world. The photographs in this album can be accepted as the first step taken to be included in that world and to penetrate into the depths of the city.
The first step that a photographer who follows a light takes is to ask why that light is distant to him. That is why I regard these photographs as the question itself rather than an answer about Kars:Why some lights are distant to us?”
Within the very appropriate determinations of Özcan Yurdalan; when Kadir Ekinci’s works are considered, the importance of these photographs will be understood better. The most important characteristic of these photographs are their sincerity, naturalness and honesty. Ekinci’s “beautiful” concept is not a concept that plays to the audience. Ekinci pursues his far away essence. He has the concern of not explaining to others but to himself, he has pursued his own questions. When the audiences look at the photos, they will find them close to themselves since they will find their own questions in these photos.
As our teacher Özcan says, indeed “Why some lights are far from us?”