By Heidi Trautmann
The European Mediterranean Arts Association (EMAA) has opened its 2011-2012 season by hosting a young talent in the field of photography. Mehmet Erdoğan, born in 1984 in Nicosia.
What an immense crowd of visitors flocked around the premises of EMAA on the evening of September 8 for the opening of Mehmet Erdoğan’s first exhibition. I had come early to talk to my friends Özgül Ezgin, President of the Association and Zehra Sonya, and while I was waiting I heard this music coming from nowhere. An esoteric music like wind in a cornfield, like nature screaming when hurt, and I leant back in my chair and let myself be carried away by it. The music was created by Simge Akdoğu, vocalist in the meanwhile famous music band The Gommalar. She was rehearsing for the opening performance.
Sevcan Çerkez, my dear petite friend and creator of the life size human and angelic figures we all know meanwhile, was holding the opening speech. She is involved with Erdoğan’s kind of world, involved also with the Gommalars, often finding herself in a similar transcendental world during her phases of creation.
Past is part of today, and so he showed us – before we were let loose to see his work – a short amateur family film, him as a child, a happy childhood, surrounded by family and friends, dancing and laughing. The piano recital in its dramatic tunes made it fascinating.
The project is not only photography, rather an installation, a happening; Mehmet has worked around the theme of modernization and technical advancements and its effects on us. And finally the urgent wish to escape it all, disappear in sleep and dreaming of an unspoilt forgotten beauty of nature, pictures of the harmonious good old world, a cornfield, a bed in the sea floating away into nothingness, no targets, no hard edges of reality all covered in deep sleep. Fleeing a world, in which the individual becomes emotionally stunted.
Finally we were let loose to enter the premises; I had to push my way through the crowd which stood affixed in groups staring at what Mehmet Erdoğan had written all across the walls. Feelings, warnings….we were all mesmerized by the music again and the voice of Simge Akdoğu, sitting there in front of a photograph of deep sleep in the sea, covered in a black mantilla. Weird.
A manifest by the youth recognizing the danger of manipulation by modernization; how strange I thought, I hadn’t realized that they were aware of it. You have heard of the medical term “burnout syndrome? I didn’t get the chance to talk to Mehmet Erdoğan, he had disappeared in the crowd he had caused.
A limited edition of 50 books comprised of all photographs and writings that are part of the exhibition will also be available for sale as part of the opening night.
Artlovers may visit the exhibition between 8-22 September at EMAA Capital Arts Centre (Belediye Str No:1 Yenişehir / behind Deniz Plaza) Mondays 16:00 – 20:00, Tuesdays & Fridays 10:00 – 13:00 / 16:00 – 20:00 and Saturday between 10:00-14:00.