Timurtaş Onan


Photographic exhibition

14 February – 6 March 2019


Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind amongst the major upheavals that began with the Industrial Revolution is the migration of workers, which turned cities into overcrowded and cramped places. Nevertheless along with migration and a new way of life, there was also a far more significant change that turned our relationship with the world upside-down: folks who had been used to living by the turn of the seasons now perceived time as a basic and consumable commodity to be accounted for every day, every minute.
Time became no longer the changing of the seasons, neither the sunrise nor the sunset.
Time is the invisible raw material of a schedule; it can be accounted for but it no longer ambles along wistfully, for now it must be chased down reluctantly.
As well as cramped surroundings, the city dweller is burdened by, and has not yet come to terms with, living with a plan divided into the hours of each day.
Timurtaş Onan’s photographs guide us around the city’s scenes; we pass through spaces, congestion, intersections, fractures and over-crowding.
Yet in his work, we are divorced from time; beyond that which cannot be accounted for time is no longer a consumable and it melts away to instead become light, emotion, wind or a cloud.
Time is liberated from being the raw material of schedules and turns into something volatile, intangible and on a human scale. The beautiful words of famous Turkish Poet Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar “we are neither inside nor completely outside’ turns the incomprehensible into reality. And so we can talk about people and life once again …

As time drifts by, we follow the faces of those passing through the streets as well as ourselves. Seagulls swoop overhead; the scents of snow, of sun and of the night blend into each other; the rushing child and the pensioners in that mirror will surely meet we know; balloons climb over people and high over the Bosphorus as if reminding us of other worlds…
What we are seeing are photographs of idleness, of dreams and the truth behind the city. Everything in these photos is real; just as we are, just as we dream, just as we forget whilst dreaming and just as we lose whilst remembering.

Erhan Şermet



More about the artsit:

Timurtaş Onan was born in Istanbul. He started his work in photography in 1980. Onan has been working as a professional photographer for 25 years , participated in numerous events and had solo and joint exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. He has over 40 national and international awards, including from Unesco and Unep, Participated as a jury member in national and international competitions. He made documentary films on social issues and published books. He is known for his numerous projects on Istanbul. The works of the artist are in public and private collections in Turkey and abroad. He is currently working on photo workshops and new photographic projects.

Location: SYNTHESIS Gallery - 55-57, Vasil Levski Blvd., Sofia