confessionals - PhMuseum

confessionals

Gökhan Tanrıöver

2017 - Ongoing

United Kingdom

In a trance of introspection, I began to recollect my childhood memories to link my current thoughts and behaviours to gain a deeper self-knowledge. The expression or performance of my identity is informed by these memories: those that are recalled and those that remain hidden below the surface.

Confessionals is a series of analogue still-life photographs rooted in my autobiographical memory. The studio and the darkroom serve as the physical space where a meditative state facilitates a form of auto-therapy. The accessed childhood memories, first voiced as a textual confession, are used to construct an image as a method of enriching my understanding of the self.

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  • BACK-GARDEN MOSQUE
    My grandparents were conservative: they built a mosque in their back-garden. They believed it would serve the community. Little did they know this place would also be where I was touched for the first time, at an age too young to comprehend.

  • GENDER APPROPRIATE TOYS
    I liked playing with long-haired dolls. I was obsessed with the way their hair would move in the wind. My parents wouldn’t buy them for me as they were not suitable for a boy to play with, so I made my own.

  • MIOSIS
    AlI the boys that I liked had brown eyes. I believed that mine being green made me undesirable or unattractive. The day that I had my eyes examined, I too had dark coloured eyes, if only for a moment.

  • MYDRIASIS
    AlI the boys that I liked had brown eyes. I believed that mine being green made me undesirable or unattractive. The day that I had my eyes examined, I too had dark coloured eyes, if only for a moment.

  • OTHER PEOPLE’S KIDS
    When we moved to London, middle class families who sent their kids to private schools surrounded us. Each dinner party would turn into an announcement of their new achievement. Frustrated by my mediocrity, my father compared me to a weed that was growing without a purpose.

  • PERFORMING FOR A STRANGER
    I was a well-behaved kid; I did my homework and didn’t bother the adults. One day, as an act of rebellion, I poured tomato sauce over the freshly washed laundry of our neighbour who I seldom saw. When she asked me about it, I lied for the first time.

  • SECRET EATER
    Both of my parents had full time jobs and I always arrived home hours before they did. To save money, they bought chocolate bars in bulk. After I ran out of things to do on my own, I would eat them one after the other. Ashamed of my apparent greed, I hid the wrappers around the house.

  • CONTEMPLATING RELIGION
    Whenever I had chips, I made a cross with them on the fork before I ate it: I was attracted to its shape. I became increasingly paranoid that the others on the table would notice what I was doing and my feelings of being born into the wrong religion would no longer remain a secret.


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