Going back, by ‘looking’ back on. A meditation of the past...digging. Just like the layers of a city, layers of a person. The nostalgia of witnessing the past’s gaze through a current gaze ... Originally, the word ‘nostalgia’ was a medical term for homesickness. It shouldn’t be underestimated. Orhan Cem Cetin had been my home since I first began photographing. When I first met him in a photography workshop as a high school student, I didn’t know that he was going to be the one who so strongly directed my life. Thanks to him, I was lucky enough to realize what I want to do in this life when still a teenager and I am sure that I am not the only one. There are many people who had this chance. This is the reason why I believe that this retrospective is valuable not only for the ones who follow the photography scene, but also for those who never stopped learning from him. I need to mention that we as a generation who are interested in photography in the 2000s did not only learn about photography from him. I always thought that this was the real essence. In this period, in which Orhan Cem Çetin looks back through his own photographs and shares them with interested individuals, I attempt to make my own excavation of Orhan Cem Çetin’s work. In all these notebooks of mine from past 10 years, there are plenty of pieces from the things he mentioned, the things he taught to me, the things he made me think about and many pathways of all these thoughts. Some of them are related to photography, some of them not. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, in my own search for him, his photographs have a huge part... and actually, some of them are in common, such as: the “Haydarpaşa” photograph and the self-portrait that welcomes us in the exhibition. In a way, this is a look back on my own past as well... the traces of Orhan Cem Çetin in my own past and my memory. From my notebooks, from ‘Bedava Gergedan’, from his always updated blog, his images on the internet, the images I searched for but couldn’t find, as I remember, as I experienced, cold-blooded manipulations for a phantasy of Orhan Cem Çetin ...or a meditation.
OCÇ retrospective [orta format güncelleme #14 ]
This book is a reflection to the Orhan Cem Çetin’s retrospective exhibition curated by Marcus Graft which took place in Plato Art Space / Istanbul between 18 December 2013 - 26 January 2014. It was digitally published in ortaformat issue #14 and 500 hard copies were distrubuted by ortaformat magazine.