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Istanbul Modern

‘Yıldız Moran: A Mountain Tale’

“In a photograph taken in Tatvan, a village on the western shore of Lake Van in Eastern Turkey,” writes Ayten Tartici, “a matronly figure anxiously clenches between her teeth a corner of her draping white linen kıtan, a traditional head covering worn by women in the region. Her blurred left hand sways over a flock of white sheep around her, their tails turned to the viewer. As your eyes take in more of the picture, you notice the other villagers huddled in the background, as well as her right hand, protectively pressing to her, beneath her cloak, a frightened sheep—the only figure in the entire photograph whose black eyes gaze directly into the lens of the camera.

“The understated emotion, technical skill, and semi-abstract texture that animate Tatvan, Bitlis (1956) are typical of all eighty-six photographs by Yıldız Moran, now on display at Istanbul Modern. The first academically trained Turkish female photographer, Moran is enjoying a much deserved revival in Turkey, with some of her photographs being exhibited for the first time. The show is an effort not only to bring to light the work of an outstanding female artist but also to showcase Turkish Republican art. The current retrospective at Istanbul Modern is culled from the nearly 8,000 negatives that Moran left behind upon her death in 1995.

“Moran shot almost exclusively with a Rolleiflex 2.8 Series, famous for its 6×6 square format. This camera, to which she remained loyal throughout the years, greets visitors from a glass display case as they enter the exhibition at Istanbul Modern. In one section of the show, eight photographs are arranged in two rows of four, printed from the negatives in their original format. The images, though covering a range of different locations and subjects, all showcase Moran’s artistic command of light, geometry, and depth.”

For more information, visit istanbulmodern.org.

Category: Exhibition
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
Asmalımescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Caddesi, No:99,
Istanbul, Beyoğlu