Three Works Based on Walking

Paul Gaffney, Serkan Taycan, Cem Ersavcı
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Walking; might be one of the best ways to think, exploring and observing. The reason we say "might" is that it is an experience we constantly repeat in daily life but not think about much.

Photography in contemporary art gains ground and takes on new meanings by interacting with different disciplines. We can consider one of the disciplines as "walking." The feelings and evocations of Gaffney's project which we came upon during our studies, go back to different projects we have covered before. Then, through connotations the subject comes to Serkan Taycan's "Between Two Seas" and later to Cem Ersavcı's "Outside."


Paul Gaffney in his project "We Make the Path by Walking" has taken a walk in touch with nature for more than 3500 km long.

Gaffney's aim is to create meditative images which are harmonious with the journey he takes into nature and to include the viewer to this journey by making his images alluring. For Gaffney, the motivation behind taking long distance walks can change people and can help them to explore themselves.

Although Gaffney's nature photography indicates wilderness, in some photos human existence also manifest itself somehow. The book the artist compiled is inviting in its motivation as well. Especially the book's shape as a box, and the fact that photographs are taken out piece by piece but still covered with another kind of paper give the feeling that everyone can experience unique and special moments in this journey.


However different in its aim and starting point, it is also important to remember Serkan Taycan's project "Between Two Seas." Taycan covered the trajectory of Kanal İstanbul Project, the 40 km route on foot and later on, invited people to participate in this experience and walked the same route with different participants. He shared his experiences through an exhibition in the biennial, his map, the facebook page and his talk in TedXReset Taycan, and he provided us with this crucial experience on the area in which Kanal Istanbul Project would cover. Apart from the scientists' warnings about climate change, it is also touching to see the human aspect that is indicated in the project and the sociological situation.

The walks continue in "Between Two Seas," so it would be better to follow this project which continuously expands and is shared.


When we think of nature and periphery, another artist that comes to our minds is Cem Ersavcı. The artist who we unfortunately lost last month in a sad traffic accident demonstrates the city's current appearance as a building site and city's new landscape through his works "Outside" and "Northern Forest." In his own words: "It is said that the concept of the city is intrinsically utopian; urban planning, in a way, means planning how life is to be lived in these places. But what I see are more like images from a dystopia…"

We have talked about the difficulty of photographing a city silhouette that converse by riding with a car, and that he is walking around redundantly to do that in an interview. It would be impossible to know how much these walks which cannot be found in his project texts were included in his works, we felt that referring to his works after the first two was a kind of must.