From My Photobook Library: Engin Gerçek & Andy Rocchelli

Çiğdem İrem İleri
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I am very interested in the fact that the concept of intimacy is in contrast to its own, in terms of its nature and it is not possible to reflect the privacy without departing from the privacy. Adding to fact that the depth of the concept and the harshness of the other concepts are varied in intercultural context, it has aroused a desire to discuss this issue through two works from different cultures.

The first work is a book whose photographs were taken by Engin Gerçek and texts were written by Uğur Tanyeli, entitled "İstanbul'da Mekan Mahremiyetinin İhlali ve Teşhiri: Gerilimli Bir Tarihçe ve 41 Fotoğraf". This book is dedicated to a long period of time and it is a documentary. In the first half of the book, a collection of written sources about the evolution of space privacy in the historical process is presented; in the second half of the book, the concept is introduced to the audience through photographs from where it comes today. In the book, individuals of various ethnic groups are selected as subjects of the photographs and attention is drawn to alienation. The subjects selected in all of the photographs have extremely colorful and characteristic features and the color editing of these photographs is provided with vivid exaggerated tones to support this feature. Although it is aimed to photograph subjects in their everyday environment; in the houses where we are guests with the photographer, we are also a foreigner, a guest, and all the places and sometimes even the subjects have become most elegant faces prepared for us in advance. This is a contrast that the book points out in itself. As the subjects of the photographs are contrary to some way from the society, the book is contrary to its own name; the privacy of the space cannot be exposed but can be visualized as the host wants to show. In this way, Engin Gerçek also presents his violation of privacy with the absurd and intrusive reality to the audience.   


The second book "Russian Interiors" started with Andy Rocchelli's being employed by a rich woman as a personal photographer. While Rocchelli was with this woman at any moment, he has created a photography collection of her. He acquainted to the very specific details of the notion of being a woman. The fact that all the photographs were taken indoors, represents getting involved and the intertwined pages give reference to the multi-layered structure of privacy. The book also includes photographs of round objects with reference to the female body. This book, which can be said to have a partially erotic infrastructure with these features explains marginalization between men and women through the eyes of a man. At this point, Rocchelli's unique experiences which are able to see and show the depths of the emotional world of marginalized women are passed on to the audience as a unique feeling.  


Both Engin Gerçek and Andy Rocchelli have completed their journeys by questioning what is not intimate through the surfaces in which they come into contact instead of questioning what privacy is. Although the photographs and concepts of Gerçek do not correspond directly with Rocchelli; I have completed the experience of these books by accumulating a bundle of ideas that are nurtured and enriched by the differentiation of the ways they choose about the theme of privacy.