Sea of Fate
"Sea of Fate" focuses on the drama of the Asian and African immigrants' lost lives on the way to Europe in hope for bright prospects. Bringing life into the history of painting and writing by its discrete perspective this work presents a traumatic criticism on the migration.
This series of abstract photography by Mehmet Gilnyeli on one of the most tragic human drama of our age, the refugee and illegal human traffic, shows the surface of the abandoned boats that have transported the victims over the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. It is possible to see each work as a painting because they present only colours and texture. Every shot has uniformity with the abstract works of Modernism and Post-Modernism; however, these are not artificial but natural. It is the keen interest of photographer in discovering and the assessment of viewers which makes these abstracts all abstract works of painting. The bold colours, traces, stains of the boats and their abstract impression comply with the multi-cultural origins as well as the anonymity of these ill-fated people.
Arises from the fresh point of view of two artists 'Sea of Fate' could be called as a sensitive awareness from Turkey known as the entry hall of immigrants in literature.
"Come, come again, whoever you are, come! Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come! Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times, Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are."
In a manner hardly achieved by another artist before, Mehmet Günyeli, has depicted in his work a very complex ritual practised in its original form by the different orders of dervishes for centuries, employing a minimalistic figurative language. The dervishes shown in this exhibition live in Istanbul. The oral and written tradition of the famous mystic Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi from the present day Konya influences their dance through a profound symbolism.
Mehmet Günyeli is deliberately abstaining from showing the individual faces. In terms of Mevlana's mystical spirituality, the bodies of the dervishes form an entity. They are liberated from any "ego".
Günyeli's work is conceived for a better and more peaceful world.
Looking at the world from India
India, the land of mysticism and color of light... A distant country exhibiting its identity with splendor and elegance in a space mysticised by light. And the integrity of its people reflecting this feature together with the atmosphere onto the image frames. A world thoroughly reflecting the diverse creeds, cultures and identities... In India culture of faith has spilled onto streets. Sikhs, sacred cows, temples, deities and mythological pictures... Is it the people soaked to the bone with mysticism, metaphysically atmosphere space, or the response from afar to a modern world that has lost its innocence in mechanization that cause this colorful variations? Mehmet Gnyeli pictures India as if looking at his Eastern mates rather than as a Westerner. Witnesses mutually mystical as well as destitute faces. Human faces aren't wild or evasive, but are as if convinced of his sincerity and are warmly posing for us. Even though mainly employing a telephoto lens never reverts to its convenience and carefully combines his look with the light of his photography attaining a documentary feel from the start. And doing so associates us glimpses of dejected and anxious people. Men, women with faces which aren't what we are used to as typically Indian scenes. They are not undauntingly posing but looking, current and mythological metaphors blended, at work, in the market, and through life. A tourist perspective awaits every photographer draining out reality and luring them into peril. Whereas Mehmet Gnyeli's manner is full of a sympathetic, adventurous, analyzing vision. He who has travelled to India several times is a passionate amateur that never takes the easy way out by picturing it casually. Observing and satisfying us with his impressions and colored atmosphere proves his vision is not accidental. When we take a look at today's real life exactly as it is on the walls decorated with pictures we see that Mehmet Gnyeli not just freezes time in his photos but in a way freezes history as well. Poverty stricken faces mirror the struggles rising from the depts. Of history and as if two sides of history is appearing in the same frame. Figures squeezed into narrow frames just like fauvists take us to a carousel of color and tension. Thus, we realize that India is just a people crowding its streets. Nevertheless, he doesn't pull his lenses away from popularized faces and fleeting deportments. As in the group photo of youngsters with avant-garde looks... Has a paradoxical association with August Sander's cult photo of peasants making music. And the bubble making young man... In the arena of faces a fairy tale-ish childish world sends us naughty look... The boy confronting his mother with a rearing horse... Or the inviting photo of a child's attention on the street musician's pipe... All these metaphors and their counterparts of our current times... With his significantly striking colors that he has selected for his book "Cuba" it is not so hard to understand whether Mehmet Gnyeli turns his camera towards countries that possess his inner colors, or journeys through faraway lands building a colorful cocoon while searching for it. Mehmet Gnyeli while with his multicolored frames let us see life through unrestricted doors also attempts to close the gap between now and the past by appropriating the mystical environment and mingling it with living wall myths. Chosen faces are meeting the culture calling from the depths of history. Mehmet Gnyeli looks at the world from India! This volume is an inventory dejected "Eastern" looks. His documentary perspective in a nave land presents us the multifaceted India reduced to only one face, and with what large eyes in that!
Viva Cuba Libre
As Time Unfolds...
Mehmet Günyeli is passionate about photography. When old postcards cease to satisfy his curiosity, he abandons himself to the winds of other lands, grabs his camera and sets off into the distant horizon to travel the world with the child photographer growing inside him. A backdrop of ocean and, in the middle, an 'island' that is Cuba... An island of aging men, cigar-smoking women, inquisitive children, neighborhoods with walls painted all colors of the rainbow, palm trees bending to the call of the waves, vintage cars... Mehmet Günyeli points his camera at silent people, at calm vistas. Rather than propose a new way of life, he shares with us life as it is. He has been in love with Cuba since his early youth. And he penetrates the island through its heart, Havana, offering Castro's breezy land a salutation from the heart. Only this time, his finger is on the shutter release rather than the brim of his hat. In Cuba, the ever-present past steps forward into the future and is captured once more in the photographs of Mehmet Günyeli.