One of the lovely stories of this week. It comes to us from Johan Liedgren and is titled, Turkey 1983 – The liminality of re-seeing.
In the spring of 2023 I discovered a cardboard box containing 15 framed exhibition prints and 1,000 negatives at the back of my basement, all from a trip in 1983 to every possible corner of Turkey with a very used car, 300 dollars tucked into my shorts and a trunk filled with Nikon cameras and Tri-X film.
But it wasn’t dusty nostalgia looking back at me from the box. It was a desire that makes photography unique among the arts: to come alive in the liminal space between what a captured moment bears witness to-and simultaneously-the deliberate framing that hints at a sublime waiting to be revealed.
Turkey as a country in 1983 seemed to offer a similar juxtaposition: awkwardly balancing modernity with a backdrop that had not changed for hundreds of years. I felt the same about the newfound images: the 18 year-old me asking to be re-curated, to be given a richer perspective. This small collection of images offers a very first slice of the work and will hopefully inspire larger exhibits. And in doing so, stoking the desire to return to Turkey in the spring of next year to continue the liminal journey through the eyes of a photographer who is very much the same and entirely different – just as the country must be now. Oh, liminality, I know the call of that muse and siren!
Johan Liedgren is an award-winning film-director, writer, photographer.
Liedgren was born in Sweden, currently living in the US by way of Paris.