Rehan Miskci

archival pigment prints

Void focuses on the archive of Maryam Şahinyan, an Armenian studio photographer, a woman who worked for almost 50 years (1937 – 1985) in the heart of Istanbul. Over the years her studio space eventually became a recorder of personal memories, as well as of social and political events that led to corruption in the culture and threatened the existence of the minorities in Turkey. Şahinyan’s studio, as a physical entity, functioning as an ambiguous area between public and private, was almost like a hidden stage, where anyone could perform their identity for the camera.
The work exists in two parts. Figures are removed from images selected from Şahinyan’s archive and all that remains is the setting that these figures were photographed in. While the figures are removed from the original photographs they are transported back and fragmented into abstract reinterpretations of those studio settings. The reinterpreted studio space becomes a dramatic vehicle for exploring presence through absence.