Ahmet Polat is an artist we’ve been closely following for almost 10 years. His projects scrutinize the narrative role of photography and its modes of perception.
Although many of us wondered if he had disappeared after his 2006 solo 'Invitation Only', Polat participated in shows in the Netherlands, Austria, Brazil and many other countries. As the son of a Dutch mother and Turkish father, he took both an internal and external point of view when photographing youth in Turkey between 2006 and 2012, which he displayed in his series 'Kemal’s Dream'.
Now, in 'The Other Kemal', the artist examines the differences between people’s real identities and the ones they project on to photographs. This is also an exhibition in which Polat assesses why he started working on photography and a research project on photography’s power of representation and the deceptiveness of imagery.
Polat references the David Lynch movie 'Dune' to explain how he goes after the truth with the awareness of photography’s falsity: “In the movie, the Paul Atreides character portrayed by Kyle Maclachlan learns this in a fight scene: the opponent’s protective shield of energy can only be punctured with a slow knife; a knife pierced fast and hard will return in the exact same way. Photography is also like a slow knife that allows you to get past people’s personal defense mechanisms.”
This is one of the month’s can’t-miss exhibitions, and it’s got things to tell you.