Helsinki Photography Biennial 27.3.–14.5.2014


Serkan Taycan’s Tumulus at the Finnish Museum of Photography

In the last decades, Istanbul has been subject to massive destruction due to ongoing brutal urban transformation. Serkan Taycan, Istanbul based visual artist with an ongoing education in Sabancı University in Turkey and Aalto University in Finland has observed the process at close distance. Taycan not only collects evidence of this process, but also discovers and experiences the layers of this transformation through his work.

This spring Helsinki Photography Biennial presents his project Tumulus (2012-2014) as a part of the Ecological Fallacy exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography. Tumulus merges and reconsiders the outcome of two of his previous projects, Shell (2012–2013) and Between Two Seas (2013). Projects are linked together by the topic of the inevitable environmental change in Istanbul.

Istanbul is a city with long and great history. It has showed energy to redefine and redesign itself, in an endless cycle of wars, political or religious intrigues, earthquakes, fires and uncontrolled urbanization. Recently Taycan has however been witnessing a new kind of  transformation of Istanbul, driven by greediness and corruption.

Taycan’s installation gathers evidence of the layers of Istanbul’s decay. It contains photographs of landscapes and housing complexes, which are contrasted by the images of construction sites. These pictures take the observer to a revealing walking route between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea.


Written by Anastasia Gavrilova-Hamel


Serkan Taycan, Tumulus, Copyright © Serkan Taycan