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If no one appears in a photograph, the photographer is privileged.
If only one person appears in a photograph, that person is privileged.
If two people appear in a photograph,
only the one who assumes to be secondary is privileged.
Because, everything in the universe has been excluded,
and only that person has been admitted in.
That photograph is like those fancy invitation cards which are both obsolete
and indispensable and which, as we occasionally glance over, throws us away
to a point in the past where we have not enjoyed the day yet.
The invitation is over and no one is around,
but the honor of having been invited will last us a life time.


for Cemre

Orhan Cem Çetin, May 2012



In my childhood home, there was a photograph that would intermittently appear, finding its place within the house before disappearing again. Its presence seemed etched into the memories of everyone in the household. The edges of this photograph were charred, leading me to believe for years that my father had bravely rescued it from a fire. Strangely, I can't recall anyone recounting such a tale, which suggests that I may have attributed this story to the photograph (or to the love shared between my parents), convincing myself of its truth. To my surprise, I later discovered that the photograph had only been burnt around its edges while stored in a suitcase, miraculously escaping complete destruction. Over time, the narrative surrounding this photograph shifted from the heroic romance of my father into the fascination of my mother’s photograph, which had endured despite the threat of ruin. I found myself trying to figure out the significance of two-person memory photographs, through love stories, lived or unlived, aborted or finished. I embarked on a journey to darken the doors of some acquaintances to ask them about it, and of course take photographs of their relationships. Each love story became another photograph, and each photograph, another tale of love. Thus, the series became an ongoing exploration that could never came to an end, bearing witness to the intersection of love and photography in the year 2010, across 14 unique households and among 14 distinct individuals.

We have not lived through such a thing by Cemre Yeşil Gönenli

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