Portfolio Series 2:
Orhan Cem Çetin

18 December 2013 - 26 January 2014

Marcus Graf
In the Portfolio Series, Plato Sanat reviews and presents important positions within various disciplines and fields of Turkey’s contemporary art scene by organizing solo shows, which give an insight in the formal and conceptual work of exceptional artists in their mid-carreers. In the second exhibition of this series, Plato Sanat presented Orhan Cem Çetin.

As one of the leading artists in the field of contemporary photography in Turkey, Çetin creates photo series, where a great balance between documentary and fiction, as well as concept and technique create strong works that review and question our images and assumptions about reality as well as its various forms of visual and media transition. In his work, the artist turns photographic images into expressions of thought, where his pluralistic and heterogeneous approach reviews and often deconstructs our visual culture. Orhan Cem Çetin is no classic photographer. He also cannot be nailed down to one single style, school or movement. Of course, there are influences from the inside and outside of the art world, but in the end, he understands the camera as an instrument, with which he visualizes his conceptual ideas. In his oeuvre, the idea usually comes first, and then the artist decides on the suitable form, technique and aesthetic that transports his work to the spectator. That is why the aesthetic and photographic approach may vary from series to series according to its conceptual and contentual needs. Sometimes, like in New Age or Proximity, Çetin becomes a city walker who observes the strangeness of our urban surrounding. In these series, his eye resembles the one of the voyeur. In other series like Perfection Takes Time or Renk’arnasyon, he plays the role of the visual scientist, who is fascinated by the way nature and media work. In these series, the artist creates abstract and abstracted images, where the investigation of colour and texture are more important as the representation of actual objects and incidents. Besides these approaches, like in Düşdeğirmeni or Fantomas, he acts as a poet, who merges visual and textual data for going beyond the limits of visuality and textuality.

Orhan Cem Çetin’s work stands on strong conceptual and appealing visual bases, where the artist constantly questions as well as extends the traditional ideas of photography and its know aesthetic. His oeuvre has a strong influence on, and renewal power for the art of photography, and this is the reason why it is important for young photographers and visual artists. Besides this, Çetin is able to combine strong form and technique with deep thought and concept in order to create photographic works that show various aesthetical and philosophical discussions regarding the construction of reality, where he forms a subversive and poetic critic of our given status quo.