emin altan

emin altan

9.11 - 15.12.2018

.artSümer, in collaboration with The Empire Project, is pleased to host Emin Altan’s solo exhibition titled “Chaosmos” between the 9th of November and 15th of December. The photographs in the exhibition feature scenes Altan has encountered through his travels around the world, mere illustrations of globalization and the darker facets of human nature.

Altan’s lens lays out scenes of destructive transformations from various parts of the globe such as the Aral Sea which has become a desert due to agricultural politics in Kazakhstan, the city of Detroit transformed into a ghost town as a result of the United States' inability to keep up with the demands of global competitive automotive industries, as well as abandoned slate mines in Wales, England that have lost their utility and are now graveyards for automobiles. At the same time the artist, through his photographs, takes his visitors to abandoned coal mines in Iwate, Japan that had been unable to keep up with global competition, to Namibia a former colony of the German Empire, to the abandoned diamond mines in Kollmanskop and to a mental hospital in Northern Italy forced shut due to human rights violations, in short the work in turn confronts its viewers to face similar realities that occur globally. Traces of Chernobyl, USSR and the nuclear disasters in Fukushima, Japan as well as the cold war in former Yugoslavia are also some of the destinations clearly laid out within Altan’s photographs.

The series as a whole presents humankinds incessant ambition to dominate nature and the ‘other’, and underlines that they have gone blind to not only Nature and the environs where they live but also to one another, which helps illustrate a process where humans eventually provoke and are the perpetrators of their own extinction. “Chaosmos” deviates from being a documentary project that focuses on the residue of post-Industrial Revolution depression and the eventual destruction that follows and encourages its viewers to face a dystopian installation that was created with a subjective point of view and personal observation.

Emin Altan was born in 1962 in Çanakkale. The artist, initially a naval architect for twenty-five years, decided to change careers and went on a five-year long journey where he started to compose a visual story looking for traces of his childhood among the ruins of collapsed civilizations. Interested in photography since the '90s and producing projects in this field, Altan joined IFSAK and the Photography Foundation aiming to connect Turkish photographers with international photography circles. He took part in international photography festivals' regulatory bodies. "To learn to take better photographs", he joined Anders Petersen's workshops. Eight years after the completion of his “Life Sciences” workshop, he began professional photography. The artist continues his practice in Istanbul.