A couple of weeks ago I did an Instagram takeover for a magazine. In the captions, I talked about my book; I think this text is, so far, the best I could do to explain what it is about. For archival purposes, I’m quoting it below.
So, what is it about? What is the story? Well, I’d like to first mention an inspiration: Georges Perec’s La Disparition (A Void) — you know, the novel that was written without using the letter E, at all. You should be curious about it by now, so please feel free to look it up on Wikipedia. It will shake your world, promise. This will all be very relevant later.
I always strive to photograph the eerie, the peculiar; even though my colour palette is rather colourful (which is mostly inspired from 70s giallos), I love telling a horror story through the absurd. Naturally, my book had to be no different; it needed an idea though — something about İstanbul, something about the end of the world.
What makes a city what it is? Is it the people, or what they built? Can these both even be separated? Some questions I pondered while coming up with my book’s idea. When I showed my friends the pictures that will possibly make the book, I got comments like “eerie”, “odd”. But when I asked “What’s missing?” they weren’t able to answer immediately, they needed some clues.
Limits fuel creativity — at least this has been the case for me all my life. I always put limits to myself while creating; exclusively using a point-and-shoot camera is one of those. So, back to the book: What was missing, really? The answer is in plain sight: The photographs are quiet, no more constant chatter of the city, no movement: Humans, running vehicles. No barks, no chirping: Animals. Then, a visual clue is missing; you ask yourself, “What city is this?”
There is this video game called GeoGuessr in which you are put in a random place in Google Maps and you try to figure out where you are in the world. What I always find interesting is that you can always guesstimate your country by looking at all the written language around you. So, naturally, I removed photos with texts in them. So, no language.
There are, however, signs of life in the book: construction sites and foliage.