WISH TREE

2015

After experiencing the radiance of the Gezi Protests in Istanbul in 2013 that unified people from various backgrounds and almost opposite opinions by their common desire to stand against oppression, I started self-interrogating myself and became alienated from my photography practice, which had been making use of decomposing methods such as social and psychological analysis to investigate socially constructed identities and gender roles. Following a disheartening one and a half years, the personal remedy I came up with was an approach of unification, binding and synthesis and this series is the outcome of such a period. The Wish Tree, whose title refers to wish-bearing totems found in almost any culture throughout history, aims to bring together rituals, traditions, beliefs, circumstances and faces from different parts of the world by juxtaposing images captured in various countries such as Turkey, Japan, Malaysia, Denmark, Sweden, France, Portugal…

“Wish Tree series juxtaposes the essence of the “other”, both in terms of nationality, culture, beliefs; confronting the audience with the mundanity of daily life where this state causes alienation and a sort of dismissal. However much we may have gone forward from a time of heightened biasedness, racism and xenophobia, we still have not moved forward from the need to mark and or separate ourselves from the “foreigner”; The blond is dumb, the Turk a barbarian, the Japanese are all perverts, etc. etc. In Wish Tree, Gözde Mimiko Türkkan doesn’t divide but brings together these different states of being. While the actions or the rituals, which are a part of the actions, may not be familiar, this state of the other is broken by universal codes such as a glance, a smile, or even a simple note. Wish Tree allow the audience to question and the opportunity break its shell and hence maybe create her most optimistic series to date.”
İpek Çınar
(Translation: Kerimcan Güleryüz)