I’m a visual artist working mainly with photography, video and installation. Given my background as an Istanbulite Armenian, I have always been familiar with notions of historical conflict, displacement and erosion of cultural identity. My practice forms an area between two and three dimensional reinterpretation of various photographic archives through the juxtaposition of personal and collective memory. Studio Photography marks a very important area within this context. Armenians were pioneers in this profession, when photography first arrived in the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th century. Photo studios are unique places of production where space and photography act together for the mutual purpose of recording individual compartmentalized histories while oscillating between the fake and the real. [ www.rehanmiskci.com/ ]
My current project Foto Yeraz* is an extension of my quest for new meanings in the tradition of studio photography and its connection to my Armenian identity. Foto Yeraz is a fictitious and vacant photo studio, where figures are absent, but spatial elements, such as large scale backdrops and props, still continue to exist, in fact they convert from serving as objects and start acting as subjects instead.
[*Yeraz means 'dream' in Western Armenian. ]
The second part of the series derives from a null subject* an anonymous figure, being dissolved and rephotographed in different spaces and multiple times. The figure ceases to be the center of the image, and starts acting as a tool to depict fragmentation and disruption. In this way the photograph as an object comes forward and opens new layers of representation into the image plane. Superimposition of photographs and the repetitive pattern of ‘spaces within spaces’ suggest a new area between two and three dimensional representations and invites the viewer to question and position the main subject. [*In linguistic typology, a null-subject language is a language whose grammar permits an independent clause to lack an explicit subject; such a clause is then said to have a null subject. ]