June 2 – December 18, 2016
The Adventure of Humanity in Photography of Turkey from Othmar Pferschy to Today
The exhibition “People Attract People”, selected from Istanbul Modern’s photography collection, displays the work of eighty photographers from Turkey, the photographs of Turkey shot over a period of eighty years.
The history of photography in Turkey from the Ottoman to the Republican era was shaped first by European travelers who were mainly interested in the landscape and the daily life of the country, and then, under the influence of the photography studios opening in the Pera district, by portrait photography. First utilized by the head of the Ministry of Information and Publications Vedat Nedim Tör to publicize Turkey, reproductions of the finely detailed photography of Othmar Pferschy on the covers of books and magazines, banknotes and postage stamps, began a tradition that has continued virtually unbroken until today. Later generations at the Ministry were strongly influenced by the deep precision of Othmar’s work.
Some photographers were drawn to the nature and historical texture of Turkey, and others investigated daily life in the developing big cities, primarily Istanbul. Throughout, underlying the story of Turkish photography is an abiding interest in people and their lives. Photography fulfills a sociological function, recording new developments and situations related to human life.
“People Attract People” presents a variety of photographic modes and approaches, from impressionism to expressionism, from documentary to the fine art context, from rural Anatolian settings to the technically advanced spaces of the photography studio, from highly charged views of simple side streets to conceptually driven works of portraiture.