In these days when we are forced to live under a rain of images that never ceases and we are not hopeful that it will stop, it must be very difficult for you if have chosen to live with photographs. You know that the people with whom you walk on the same roads sometimes have no breath left and stop, and they make the people who follow them stop, and tell stories from their pasts by stating that “This is the top, I have arrived.” Some people keep on walking slowly on the long road of photography why smiling at these never-ending stories. They know that the road has no end, but they still prefer to live the beauty of walking on that road.
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.
Ekinci’s quest for his “Silent Light” photographs in the details of a dead person that the sun still illuminates adamantly, and in his village which is nearly wrecked and abandoned can be designated as to bear the remaining traces of a lifestyle that cannot be repeated anymore. In the images entitled “Silent Light”, in the mysterious silence which is truly felt, it is impossible not to hear that deserted life’s screams. The wooden columns which resist against time under the weight of the earth roof above represent the same vital resistance of the old and weary faces who continue their lives among them, and who did not—could not—leave. And light. The daylight which flows into those places from every hole that it can find, achieves to make weary faces smile by carrying everyday the joy of living–which it is afraid to lose—without getting tired. In that way, it completes the traumatic power of images.
We live in a time period when technology turns photography into a puzzle, and when the dominant powers anesthetize and direct people according to their will in front of televisions. During this period when the conveniences that are put in front of us conceal the damages which we will get, it can be impossible to become aware of what is going on. An abject slogan like “Don’t Hesitate, Take a Picture” can be illustrated under the name of advertisement. And we, the Saturday-Sunday photographers, cannot help ourselves from behaving like justifying that slogan. However, when you observe the lives in photography, after witnessing the tranquil and determined atmosphere in their inner worlds, you can easily differentiate the successful ones from the environment which is formed by the babblers of photography. Unless we give up our habit of applauding every image that is showed to us, the above-mentioned babbling will not come to an end.
Photography is difficult because it is easy. Nowadays, adding a few new and unnecessary images to the pollution which flows like a flood of images and being pleased with them form the easiest part of the task. The great number of our photographers, who keep on being pleased and who look for other toys when they give up after realizing that they are not going to succeed, can be regarded as an evidence for that easiness. However, by taking into account the fact that the water drops which do not mingle with the flood and continue to stay in minds produce little, the difficulty of carrying the image to the minds reveals itself.
After the success that he demonstrated with the photographs which were exhibited in “Silent Light”, this time with “Distant Light” Ekinci leaves the weary light of that dead village, and carries his camera to the nearby city, Kars which barely lives with its history. His purpose is not to see Kars for a few days and use it as a novel material. Therefore, a long period of working starts. His trips to Kars which he repeated several times with the aim of reaching the better, unveils the darkness that covers Kars, and reveals one of our museum cities’ strength to stand firm against time. The people of Kars who appear around the stone edifices in the photographs seem like whispering that they are the lonely people of that lonely city. The light that Ekinci tirelessly keeps on searching for again and again can be regarded as unveiling the night which covers the city.
Ekinci’s images also have the characteristic of being a set of guidelines for our photographers who skip to live in their country and become occupied with bringing here the things that are happening in distant countries. For the people who have something to say through photography and for the ones who carry the anxiety of being perceivable within photographs, photography is not limited with bringing here the things happening there. From the perspective which enables us to realize the difference between carrying the camera on your neck and in your brain, the photographer needs to ask himself frequently the question of “To what extent I am present in this photograph of mine?” Ekinci’s choice of continuing his works by using classical methods and by getting free of the illusive effects of digital facilities, and his preference of using the indisputable sensitivity of black-and-white film in taking photographs are other evidences for his meticulousness.
November / 2009 Ankara