Monday, 24 September 2018

Thessaloniki PhotoBiennale 2018 | Yusuf Murat Sen: Wet present – Wet city

The wet-plate collodion photographic process is believed to have been invented almost simultaneously, in 1851, by Frederick Scott Archer and Gustave Le Gray, who had both experimented with collodion as a binder for creating negatives on glass plates. This new process, which at the time accelerated the plate production procedure and reduced exposure time compared to older methods, would largely replace daguerreotype in the ensuing years.  Recently, the collodium technique has been revived in the photographic art world. But why would one choose the slow manual procedure of printing on glass plates in our age of digital and intangible photographs?

This question will be answered below, by examining the work of Turkish photographer Yusuf Murat Şen through his series of photographs entitled “Wet City”, exhibited in the Thessaloniki Photobiennale 2018.  The artist photographs Istanbul as a city in progress, an enormous construction site in building growth, presenting the image of a city in which the past has vanished before a permanent present and future. Black and white images on plates with apparent processing marks (the path of the fluids is visible on many spots), perhaps in an attempt to make them resemble material culture objects - carriers of memory, found during an excavation or in an old archive; such is the final outcome of the majority of his works. At the same time, through the antithesis between image and material (quick construction development/slow photographic procedure), there is projected a gloomy, depressive reality, but also a city that has already started to sink.  Lastly, this very choice of an historical procedure may come across as odd, but it surely comes as a reaction to an ever so visible work of art that has neither materiality nor any tangible features, a reaction that draws on characteristics and practices of the past in order to cope with an ever changing and unfathomable everyday life.

K&K showroom
96 Tsimiski st, 54622 Thessaloníki
Duration: 27/09 – 25/10/2018
Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00-14:00 & 17:00- 20:00, Saturday 11:00-14:00
Opening: 27/09/2018, 19:00

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