For three years my focus
has been on european cultural heritage and offering a new perspective
on history, traditions and photography as an art form. My mission started
with libraries; i wanted to show these established european institutions
through the eyes of an artist from istanbul.
extraordinary architectural spaces, showing the details that people are
not usually aware of—this is what i try to achieve in my photographs.
these ancient libraries, when compared with the modern ones, where
mostly all the books are stored away underground, where the reader
cannot see or touch them—the old libraries have a completely different
nature. i compare this experience to buying books on the internet rather
than a bookstore—there you can touch the book, turn its pages and
feel the pleasure of being present.
for this project, i photographed about 30 libraries in various countries
(and it was a challenge carrying a quite heavy 8x10 inch format view
camera to every space). selecting the locations was based purely on
historical importance, grand architectural scale, aesthetic quality and
variety. We had to limit ourselves to europe, and the very important
libraries, since it was not possible to include everything in one book.
through special permission by the authorities, we were able to capture
the interiors without the public present. When left alone in these temples
of silence and knowledge, the meditative ambiance reminded me of
the hours i spent at night photographing the Byzantine church of chora
in istanbul, or the monastic caves of cappadocia.
the classic instrument of my photography is a sinar view camera, using
8x10 inch film. this giant studio camera created the quality of and a
mystical depth in the images. My aim was to capture the aesthetic
and volumetric characteristics of the architecture in each space. By
using the movements of the view camera, i was able to control the
perspective and capture a very wide view of the interior undistorted. i
have always used the available natural light even when there was no
light. At times the exposure reached up to nearly five minutes.
apr + may