Murat Germen’s new exhibition “Obscura Lucida”

Murat Germen’s solo exhibition “Obscura Lucida” can be seen at Ferda Art Platform between 07 September 08 October 2022.

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The title “Obscura Lucida”, which consists of photographs taken by the artist with long exposures, sometimes in the dark and sometimes in the twilight, documenting the flawless and serene moments of the city and nature, refers to the technical and philosophical dimensions of the history of photography. The artist constructs the concepts of "obscura", indicating darkness, and "lucida", ascribing light, in his photographs, where he turns night into day, through the relationship between human, city and nature. The photographs comprise visual descriptions documenting the moments when the city and nature, which are exposed to human destruction and occupation during the day, reappear at night.

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Though it is easier for some people to commit a crime in darkness; most humans are afraid of darkness and nighttime. This fearfulness is actually a really great thing to celebrate; considering that this weird species called humankind produces malignancy brutally and recklessly most of the time. The destructive humankind pushes aside the places, cities it daily abuses as a power arena and retreats back home at night, in order to relieve its fatigue stemming from everyday hubbub. It is the city's turn to grab the stage; even if darkness reigns, the city metaphorically shines. If you remember to look up at the sky, where you rest at night, you see the stars. You get to comprehend that there are other planets, galaxies, life forms in the universe; you feel much smaller and humankind, as a monolith of arrogance, must frequently feel so!!!

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In his words that the renowned Turkish author, short story writer, playwright, and poet Murathan Mungan specifically penned down for Germen's first monography titled 'New Turkey' edited by Necmi Sönmez; Mungan says: "Works in Germen's 'Obscura Lucida' series fully operate on a horizontal motion with a cinemascopic sensitivity. These are some kind of panoramas laden with a ‘pastoral feeling’ dominated by endlessness and desolation, where the sky imposes an exceptional presence. In these images deprived of a subject matter by the removal of the human element; solitude, desolation, endlessness and forlornness are emphasized. Empty parks, empty turf soccer pitches, a public bus with no passengers in sight, desolate streets where even the cars are stationary and construction sites gradually become ‘a picture of desolation.’ The crushing pressure of the sky in some, the silent domination of heaps of iron and steel, and the loneliness of streets and parks in others… They all work towards the same desolation.” City planner and architect Hande Tombaz states; “albeit photos are representations of a particular moment, they doubtlessly define a novel reality as they create a certain distance in space and time,” in a text she wrote for the same series.

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This series of timeless yet timely long-exposure photographs of documentary nature taken sometimes in pitch dark or twilight, under moonlight or cloudy sky in turn; is composed of visual depictions that are difficult to timestamp. This ambiguous visuality that illustrates an illuminated darkness, praises human transiency and urban endurance to the skies, so to say. Concepts of “obscura” denoting darkness and “lucida” implying luminousness all refer to the technical and philosophical dimensions of the history of photography. Brightened darkness can be conceived as an alternative perception to the typical charmless nocturnal panic; and the act of photography realized on tripod peacefully in a rush-free manner can be taken as self-therapy and catharsis.