Arjen Zwart & Peter Edel
Collaborative Photography Exhibition
BLOK art space Çukurcuma
Exhibition 24 March – 12 May, 2017

After Arjen Zwart and Peter Edel had met several years ago, a plan gradually developed to show Turkey through different interpretations of photography with a joint exhibition. From an almost monochrome Istanbul portrayed by Arjen Zwart, to Turkish nature in all its colourful glory by Peter Edel. However, they meet each other in a quest for the abstract. Photography and the abstract seems like an odd combination at first. For after all, photography is known to be bound to reality. But as the work of Zwart and Edel shows, the abstract is part of reality. Moreover, their work show that the abstract is abundant in Turkey, a country which was explored by both to create their photographs.

ZIFT series by Arjen Zwart
The series ‘ZIFT’ came about after Zwart noticed the black tarred facades in Istanbul during his walks through the city. These walls are tarred black in order to protect homes against the humid weather influences. Some of the walls are beautifully weathered, others are still freshly tarred and hermetically black. These photographs are shot from diverse perspectives and at different distances. In the abstracted photographs of this series the focus is on structure, shape, and details. Other pictures show the facades in the context of their environment. The book on the ZIFT series was published in 2011 with the financial support of AKZO NOBEL/Marshall.

Salt Lake series by Peter Edel
While on a vacation three years ago, Peter Edel had his first experience with Tuz Gölü; a protected area in Central Anatolia, which is one of the largest salt lakes in the world with its 1,500 square-kilometer space. He became fascinated with the monotonous emptiness, which he regarded as a metaphor for the lack of morality in politics. Last year, he returned to Tuz Gölü for an intense working period, during which he felt inspired by the work of the color field painter Barnett Newman. The minimalist division of the surface and Newman’s fascination with empty, boundless landscapes that enhances the awareness of individual presence within them, became an important principle for Edel during his time at the Tuz Gölü. Apart from this, Tuz Gölü refers to the tradition of the horizon in Dutch landscape painting, from Salomon van Ruysdael, to Ger van Elk.

– Arjen Zwart (1957, Alkmaar) is an independent photographer. Zwart has lived in Istanbul since 2008, where he mainly works on his own projects. Aside from this he works as a freelance photographer for various newspapers and magazines and holds workshops in street photography. The artist is also the co-creator of ‘Dog Food Magazine;’ a magazine based on the philosophy of photographer’s cynicism. In the 1990s he photographed the subculture in a maritime village landscape near his home in Egmond aan Zee. This work was exhibited in 1998 in the Museum of Egmond. A selection from the series became part of a traveling photo exhibition, which toured under the banner of the “European Cultural Village of Europe” since 1999. With the financial support of the Linde Foundation and the Working Group Arts and Culture of Egmond, he published his first book in 1999 about the maritime village landscape titled ‘Behind the first Pole.’ In 2004 Zwart photographed, along with three other photographers, the city of Alkmaar in the context of its 750th anniversary. The book on this work was published in 2005 in Alkmaar. His autonamous work is shown in the Arts Centre Bergen and KunstEyssen (Alkmaar). In Turkey, he has exhibited in Karşı Sanat Gallery (Istanbul 2006), Studio 9 Istanbul (2012), Bursa International Photo Festival (2012), and International Photo Festival in Istanbul (2014), as well as other art venues.

– Peter Edel (1959, Amsterdam) studied at the Department for Photographic Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. He graduated in 1984. At that time he made several slideshows for dance and theater groups, as well as for nightlife venues. In the 1990s he was involved in different ways in the visual arts. He worked as a photographer for artists such as Nicolas Dings, Ilya Kabakov and world-renowned author William S.Burroughs, as well as for art institutions such as the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, where he was involved as a photographer in the production of “The Amsterdam Sculpture Book” (1996). During the same period, his autonomous work was regularly exhibited in Gallery Art Kitchen (Amsterdam) and The Boterhal (Hoorn). Nowadays he is represented by Suzanne Biederberg Gallery (Amsterdam).

from ZIFT series, 100x100cm, Arjen Zwart

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Peter Edel, from “Salt Lake” series