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"Movement Exhibition" and Scanograph

Ugur Okcu's "Movement Exhibition" and Scanograph

Assoc. Prof. Simber ATAY
Dokuz Eylül University Fine Arts Faculty
Head of Photography Department



What is the scanograph ?

Scanograph is a special kind of photography. The term is created by two words;

Scane and graph. Like a photographic variation, it belongs to Uğur OKÇU, The photographer realized an exposition titled "Movement". The photographic expression of time's differences/differentiation's like movement, speed, variation, transformation forms its theme. The exposition is realized at 1995 and 1996 in Ankara ( Studio Artist Exposition Hall ), Istanbul ( İfsak, 11th Photographic Days; Emlak Art Gallery, Sedad Kent Villas Show Room Exposition Hall ).

There is a special importance of individual expositions in the general activity of photography. Because, every artist, in every time, concrets by this way his interpretations and discussions about photographic language and present all this like an individual initative to the public's gusto criticism.

The exhibition "Movement" that's formed by Uğur OKÇU's scanographs coasted approximately a thousand million TL and 2.5 year working period.

Recently, this exhibition is a notable parenthesis in Turkish Photography.


How is making the Scanograph?

Uğur OKÇU get the course of the film's roll not like the photograms but completely, by his Minolta x 700, corroding the gears of apparatus which move the roll.

Than, he get exposures turning the film under his control and at the same time control and at therealizes the surimpressions returning and returning the film. At the conclusion, is created an abstract vision formed by movement's impressions. Okçu, for this manipulation realized on the classical apparatus of photography, applied to the Turkish Patent Institute and got the patent of "useful model".


How is the Scanographic vision?

We could define that the scanographs are futuristic/Photodynamic because all this forms present rhythmic variations of movement's impressions. The titles are diverse for example; "The picnic on the Snow I", "A little Flame's story", "The Respect of blue and red for the Law", "Resonance", "Gulls", etc.…

But in this photos, there is not the original contents characteristics and ideological quality, especially in our time when we are changing the century for 3th. Millennium. Formerly, the futuristic manner has discussed the speed's phenomenon - that's the principle thematic of XXth century's modern culture, like a Life's principle, at the same time a political proposition and a pretention to form a new aesthetic. But, any more the same futuristic manner has become a quotation problem that belongs to the personal end free choosing. And, than, the stroboscopic structure of Okçu's photographs is only in appearance. Also, let's see the registrations of our collective memory one more time;

During the history of humanity, the artistic creativity has been lived as a pure, radical, model of criticism. Than, the futurists were critics also: Provoking with passion the aesthetic tradition of Italian Landscape and its universal symbols, they admired the technology, celebrated the resurrection of humanity in chaos of modern metropolis, embrace Ares with transformation's Love. The political conditions are changing continuous. The unique thing that was remained and that we have conserve is the practice of criticism. The criticism, politically and aesthetically - Those are two main platforms of our existence is the eternal virtue of humanity from the beginning to the end of our century, that means from Avangard to Postmodern, there is another art's concept that's also carrying the criticism, in pure and individual from, really: We talk about "Austract Expressionism!" We can define like abstract expressionist this panchromatic cibachrome imagines because they have been dedicated to time's concept. The conventional usage of photographic language is taken as a discussion' s subject.

In parallel , the mechanism of photographic apparatus has the function out of conventional taking photographs. The taking photographs. The film size is 35mm but the dimensions of image is beyond of 24 x 36 mm fotogram's standards that means the image is registrated on along film roll.

This practices associate us the typical avangard manner. The artist, to express him self get a technologic apparatus - the photographic one but forms his individual aesthetic reversing all photographic industrial standards. The technology is the art and the art is the technology. That paradox forms the nature of photography and discussed, in radical mode. But, this criticism is as if it had belonged to the scanographs only. This interpretation derives from postmodernist perception's problematic. Nowadays, the practice of Watching is deformed professionally by flash-back's reflex, and this kind of spectators profit from universal experiment and explain the arts works on the quotation's level from Art History.

But the principle sensibility of scanographs is the fidelity that belongs to criticism.

For the reason of works' titles we could add valve metaphorically to the photographs but that more important is the spiritual meeting of this two peoples in abstract atmosphere and in the reality which contest all modes of time. The forms research of artist makes standard a spiritual journey full of surprises for the spectator. During this journey, the old aesthetically experiences get the new and different coordinates of knowledge and sencibiliy receiving new vision than, finally the explorer's spirit concrets purely. Spectators and artist live and realize the existence of they selves in absolute liberty of supreme degree.


The empirical origins of scanograph:

The history of photography is the one of technical and scientific researches and inventions, those are served to realism, photographic image. This empirical practice which establishes the basic of photograph's technology perfects the grammar of photographic language and at the same time become an inspiration's source for the visual / aesthetic creativity. Especially, in the first 25 years of century, for the avangard artists, the transformation but it became a method to aesthetic which takes the life and the art in simultaneous and equivalent mode. The one of practices of this method, is "changing of context" that has been dessapeard but the avangard formalism has been transformed an entire of choosing. And then any method of expression, any interpretation, any form or material, out of aesthetical mains, become the esprit, cause and material of form's research about an artistic text.

Let's turn some pages from History of Photography ! Edward Muybridge has invented one of the first obturators (1869), than has begun the experiments (1874-1877-1878…1984-1985) to take with details the movements of Occident that this horse was belonged to an ex-governor of California, Leland Stanford. Finally, he done successfully the real definition of photographic time taking the pictures in 1/2000 second, approximately. On the other hand, Muybridge, using his instantane photographs in Zoetrope, also his design, created the movement's illusion and this time he defined "cinematographic time" (1880)

Muybridge realized the analysis of movement on different fotograms; but Etienne Jules Marey (1883) and Thomas Eakins (1884), have profited from Muybridge's experiences and they have made their experiences on the same fotogram.

The photographic images of Marey and Eakins, define also the "photographic time" and concrete movement's impression. At the same time they have the scientific quality and aims. But beyond this function, this images have been an inspiration's source for the modern, postmodern era's artists in our century. For example; "The Nude is descending from stairs" (1912) of Marcel Duchamp or Gerhard Richter's Ema, "Nude on the steps" (1966). Naturally, also the futuristic artists have founded the inspiration in the same context. For example, we know that the futuristic photographer Anton Giulio Bragaglia has chosen the concept of movement like the principal theme of his poetic Bragaglia has got his futuristic visual effects taking the photos of moving figures or objects in long duree.(XX). The similar interpretation exist also in works of Ernst Haas and Şakir Eczacıbaşı, for example. Finally, we see in the scanographs also, the concret discussion and reconstruction. In aesthetic context of photographic time, it's visual variations and the concerned mechanism.


The experimental origins of scanographs:

The Uğur Okçu's scanographs present his antagonism. He has choosen the photography to express himself, he has used technical possibilities of photography but he has changed the aesthetical and material dimensions and he has created new paradoxes. The manipulation that was made in photographic apparatus by himself is a homage to technology - because he is engineer by profession - and also an ironical revolt to enormous industry of photography - because he is an artist.

The aesthetical bulimia of postmodernism could create some prejudices what have been arrived to look down the formalist crystallization of artistic creativity. On this level, we could meet with lamentations about content/discontent what have been derived from obligations that make remember the one of Jdanov's aesthetic. But, what kind is this content? What kind of absolutism is there, about the combination of form/content in free land of artistic creativity? During the Art's History, which form did not create its content? Or, which content did not realize its form? Even if by the time the materials have been changed the form's variations have been created, the themes have been conserved, but the content was concreted by itself like an abstract dimension of the artist's style. The differentiate is unavoided. And at the same time nowadays the nostalgia of avangard that was sourced from chancing of century's syndrome has been transformed in a standard sensibility. But, we are meeting a new phenomenon in every moment, in the name of creativity and criticism! The individual versus the individual. At the beginning of the 20th century there were the artist's groups of experimentalism; The futurists, the dadaist, the surrealists etc. All this people have presented their individuality like social proposals. But now everybody is alone! Is Uğur Okçu also!


The ideological structure of scanographs:

Uğur Okçu takes the photographs in everywhere. But he has every important quality; he is a sailor by profession also. And why he is catching the abstract images in exotic geographies. Why he is not taking or he can not photographs the exotic landscapes, portraits, details from Caraibs, Pacific Ocean, Brazilian Coasts, Malaga Strait, Aden Gulf and Kamçatka? Why is not interesting for him the standard charm of the journey, adventure an freedom?

In different geographies, in different expression's models, the active people meet each other in the same subject discussions. And this meeting is one of more dazzling parts of our life and vitality.

Nowadays, there is a philosophic constitution about the and of exotism and this discussion oxiete in Okçu's scanographs.

Jean Baudrillard, in his article titled Radical Exotism, writes the exotism that is not an ordinary alienation or tourist fantasy and no makes a quotation from Segelen. "Exotism is an immediate and sharp perception of eternal ambiguity" (XXX) (1) . For example: The scanograph titled "Resonance" was taken from the mainmast of tanker that is carrying a special chemical material from Rio de Janeiro to Saudi Arabia. For example, the scanograph titled "Brothel" was taken in Wilhemstadt, Curaçao of Antilles.

For example Uğur Okçu realizes his work generally in exotic geographies and the ambiguity of those abstracts images resemble the proposal, definition of Segalen about exotism. Okçu says that : "My problem is not catching the photos, but my problem is making the photos in my mind."


The philosophic basic of scanographs:

The scanographs are photographic exposures. But the time of this movement's impressions never belongs only to the photographic time or past tense; diffuses also to the cinematographic time or present tense. The objects, figures and situations what are taken like subject, present a transformation in movement.

Beyond the ordinary reflex and interpretation about the time of any photographer, Okçu takes photos of chance. During the perception of each scanograph we could hear that suggestion of Bergson; "We have give back the self mobility to movement, the self flow to transformation and the self duree to time"


Scanographs and the Aura's problematic

Uğur Okçu destroys the negatives after realization of cibachrome prints and makes unique his work.

Dear Walter Benjamin did you see? Again we are together. How radical solution is this, about aura's problematic! By this way the quality of reproduction that belongs to photograph's nature is not disappeared totally but there is a real initiative to get the originality of work. And, the exposition of this kind images on film, is coincidence and unique at each time, technically. But like sense, the reality has been not taken accidentally by sacnographs that means: The scanographs have transformed the coincidence in reality itself.

This is the end of Captain's notebook about, "Movement". The date is 5 January 1997. I present to Uğur Okçu my congratulations and best wishes. See you later in new exhibition !

Assoc. Prof. Simber ATAY
Dokuz Eylül University Fine Arts Faculty
Head of Photography Department

(X)cf. Jameson, Lyotard, Habermas,
Postmodernism, edited by Necmi Zeka,
Translated by Gülengül Naliş, Dumrul Sabucuoğlu, Deniz Erksan,
Kıyı, İstanbul, 1994, pp. 39
(XX) cf. Beaumont Newhall,
Storia della Fotografia,
Translated by Laura Lovisetti Fua, GiulioEinaudib
Editore, Torino, 1984, pp. 163, 165, 166,289;
Maria Loup Souges, Historia de Loup fotographia
Cuardernes Arte Catedra,
Madrid, 1991, pp. 258,260, 262.
(XXX) cf. Jean Baudrillard,
Kötülüğün Şeffalığı
(Transparency of Evil)
Translated by Emel Abora and Işık Ergüden,
Ayrıntı, İstanbul 1995, pp. 137 - 146
(I) Jean Baudrillard, ibidem, s.138
(II) Henri Bergson, Düşünce ve Devingen
(Pensee et Mouvement)
Translated by, Miraç Katırcıoğlu,
Milli Eğitim, Gençlik ve Spor Bakanlığı editions,
İstanbul, 1986, s. 12

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