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28 December 2020

Everyday Moments of Isolation and Detachment

28 December 2020 - Selected by PHmuseum

In what started with a single photograph that deeply penetrated his life and his memory, Turkish photographer Ali Beşikçi captures scenes that reflect upon what he calls the “in-between” situations of daily life.

A couple of years ago I received by mail some rolls of film which I had left at my photo lab sometime before. Everything was as I expected, except for a single roll of medium format film. I had absolutely no memory of taking one of the photos on that roll while the rest was totally familiar. The more I looked at that photo, the more I got lost. I couldn’t understand where or when it was taken. It didn’t look like anything I’d shot before. The image is out of focus and blurred in only one corner where a man seems to be walking towards the camera and a woman follows him. Their clothes recall the ’50s, and their faces are unclear. The place looks like the entrance of a mansion and reminded me of a post-funeral scene, or maybe a wedding. Even though I continued looking at the image for months, I couldn’t figure out where it came from.

I was at war with my memory. Photography had turned against me. My efforts at capturing the situation had turned inside out, leaving me with confusion and ambiguity. A moment of clearness gave way to skepticism. Once again, I started reflecting on why I photograph and on the scenes and subjects that I get immersed in. I often find myself attracted to the in-between situations in the landscape of isolation and detachment in society. There is something that fascinates me about how we handle those moments of daily purgatory. I don’t usually photograph people but when I do, I find myself in some ways looking for their “ghosts”.

This time, they seem to have found me.

Words and Pictures by Ali Beşikçi.








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Ali Beşikçi (Istanbul,1997) studies Arts, History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Bologna. In 2017, his first photo-book “In Between” was published by Ofset Yapimevi in Istanbul while in 2018, he realised a photo-zine in collaboration with Fabrika Zine & Fail Books. In the same year, he founded Zone Magazine, a contemporary photography magazine that aims to cultivate a variety of dialogues between artists and their audience, as well as supporting them with printed and online publications. Find him on PHmuseum and Instagram.

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This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

Selected by

PHmuseum

2021 Mobile Photography Prize

Present your images for $5,000 in cash, features in our 3rd 200-Image Photobook, and a collective show at PHmusuem Lab in 2022.

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