Sinem Disli‘s photographs from ‘First Impression’ are difficult pictures. They provide us with no clue to their meaning. The narrative, the singular thread that connects them absent. Non-existent. What they do ask us to do is consider the photograph itself. What are we looking at? An object stripped of its context, time and place, an image that has no relevance to us. No beginning or end. No sense.
But perhaps that is the point. Disli wants us to stop still, look intently at the image and create our own attachment to it, mine our own memories to create a personal narrative that makes sense to us. Her public pictures becoming a metaphor for a private story. These photographs of random objects are skewed, give us little light from which to see, leave us breadcrumbs so that we may find our way through the forest of our own imagination, invent our own story.
What happened? What will happen? Past, present and future all converging in a single image that is dense with ambiguity, sings its own poetry and presents us with a picture encapsulates our emotional attachment to the things that surround us. Turkish artist Merve Unsal had this to say about Disli’s pictures. It encapsulates the work very well:
The poetry of Disli’s images is such that I will wonder why I keep looking at the images and I will not really know why they work, but they do; the lines of her poems are precise but cannot be memorized. I’m going to stretch a metaphor. Most of us, as kids, maybe still, have gone through other people’s belongings to make sense of the person, a parent, a sibling, an aging grandparent. The guilty pleasure, mixed with curiosity, intimacy and insatiableness of those moments are not so different from what I was thinking about while participating in Disli’s work. Time and space collapse, everything becomes internalized and this is precisely how I’m voluntarily trapped in a space, quite willingly.