Ata Kam’s PULSE was preselected for the 2014 Fotobookfestival Kassel Award. The Turkish photographer had the wonderful idea of reorganizing the photographs of his archive, which he had let accumulate since they were shot in 2010 in an almost mathematical way. “Memory is not non-linear at all,” he says. Using this method, he examines memory and the ways in which time periods blend in our conscious and unconscious minds, choosing to order his 15,000 photographs according to the emotions elicited by the photographs. “For me, photography is writing a journey of the mind and the body with something called ‘everyday,’ sometimes my steps follow a path, sometimes I find myself wandering into different realms,” he says.
He pushed the concept further with an installation called Modules, presented in New York in April and Istanbul in October. He assembled six images of all the film he had exhibited since 2010, without any censorship, one after the other. What emerged were new stories, obsessions, the ephemeral time periods that are at the very heart of his photography. “Photography feels like a kind of performance that never finds its resolution and is thus condemned to remain restless, mobile, volatile even,” he says.
His images bear witness to this. It’s true in his portraits of friends in Istanbul, as well as the foreigners who have left their mark on him during his travels in New York, Tokyo, Amsterdam and elsewhere. It’s also true in his tightly framed photographs with patterns that echo each other: the legs of a woman, as slender as a crab’s legs; the mop of hair of another, as frayed as the electrical cables of a building; a pile of damaged film as convoluted as the T-shirt of a man in Zanzibar.
Read the full article on the French version of L’Oeil.