Rehan Miskci
Orta Format
About More Articles

"Void" is Rehan Miskci's work in which she focuses on the notion of "space" using Armenian studio photographer Maryam Şahinyan's photography archive.

Tayfun Serttaş brought this archive to light and published "Foto Galatasaray" in which he interpreted it in conceptual and visual terms in 2011. What drew Miskci's attention was that the studio space and the materials Şahinyan used were still in the space as if to challenge the human ephemerality which is the focus of studio photography and every time accompanying the image of a new person. These materials which were turned into sculptures form a subsidiary element within a holistic perspective of the archive and open new horizons. Besides, in this structure which is completely abstract and fictional compared to the real world, eliminating the human focus results in these materials becoming the fictional itself.

Miskci's project includes two phases. In the first phase, we see empty studio photographs without people. And in the second, these studio photographs disintegrate by way of reflecting them to new places Miscki has constructed. She tells in her project text: "In my work I select images from the archive and remove the figures in them. All that remains is the setting that the people were photographed in. Sahinyan's studio, as a physical entity, functioning as an ambiguous area between public and private, becomes a hidden stage, where anyone might perform their identity for the camera. While I remove Sahinyan's subjects from the original photographs they are transported back and fragmented into my abstract reinterpretations of those studio settings. In these works the abstracted studio space becomes a dramatic vehicle for exploring presence through absence. In both parts of this project I aim to visualize the idea of loss and disruption, which defines the Armenian experience in Turkey."

Miskci's interest in Şahinyan's archive results from the fact that Şahinyan was an Armenian woman who was a studio photographer and that Miscki's father used to visit that studio several times when he was young and the archive includes his photographs as well. Miskci identifies with Şahinyan and she traces the family ties and the notion of being a minority. She reflects on the minority issue, identity erosion, loss of belonging and the feeling of alienation through metaphors.