Murat Aydın: Witness of the Moment
Deneme/İnceleme/Eleştiri • Murat Aydın: Witness of the Moment

Murat Aydın: Witness of the Moment

St. Augustine was one of the first philosophers who uttered his doubts and opinions regarding time in şth century. 

"O! Holy God, despite all, we are aware of breaks of the time and we compare these breaks through calling some long and some short. We can even measure these breaks, tell the longer and shorter ones. We say that if we take this one as the standard, this moment is two or three times İonger than the other or else argue that two of them have the same length. But if we are genuinely able to measure such moments, we can only do this during the time when we perceive them. Othervise, who can measure a non-existing past or a future-to-come?' asked St. Augustine and tried to crystallize his concept of time with the following approach: 

If future and past events exist, | want to know where they are right now. (...) No matter where they are, I know they live there as future or past events. And if they are there as future events, we can infer that they are not here yet; and if they live there as past events, they are no more here. Therefore, no matter where they are, no matter if they are from past or future, they exist here as only present events. When we convey something true about the past, our memory conveys not these past events but what they awake in our minds and thus, when these events finish, they leave their prints in our minds. And now, my non-existing childhood exists in a non-existing past.(1) 

Muslim scholars needed to enter the stage to reassure St. Augustine of time and tenses, and put his upside-down opinions on their feet. 

If we were to choose a Muslim scholar who spoke about a similar (not same) base with St. Augustine, we can mention Suhrawardi's combination of time and movement: 

“You should know that the time becomes the measure of movement when previous and post moments of an event are united in the mind. 

The time is understood by daily movement, the clearest of all. You retard doing something, which makes you retard another thing of priority and you sense you are missing something, which is called the time. You grasp that the time is the measure of movement thanks to changes and unsteadiness, The time is not interrupted as if it will have another temporal beginning. Ifit is, there would be a previous moment which cannot be merged with another moment. The time cannot be absence, either, since an absence of something can arise afterwards. The time cannot be something steady united with itself since it is a temporal priority. If not, there would be a tim: before time, which is not possible, Then, the time has no beginning. (2) 

Another scholar talking on this similar base mentioned above is Ibn Arabi

“Current state (present time) has an existence. And neither observation nor distinction is in the absence. Anything that be reported should occur like saying “happened that way” or “happened this way” In another word, a kind of being should have a place in pine order, from which pine statemenis shall come. (3) said Ibn Arabi and grounded the presence of time continuing as such? Just as God concepts have increased due to this knowledge, beliefs have also been differentiated. This is such a knowledge that all accept and none rejects any part of it. To have the knowledge of the time is the most common knowledge type. The time is a pine cover, whose secrets are bizarre, The time has no external existence yet rules all. Just as the time is attributed to God, it may be attributed to being. With such evaluations, Ibn Arabi generalizes time on the level of knowledge and perception.(4) 

ideas and interpretations of later metaphysicians/philosophers about the concept of time still stand as a footnote to what we have conveyed with some nuances. 

After the discovery of photography, the concept of time not only gains a new content undertaking the words such as eye, secing, vision, appearance, signed etc. but also takes its place in the center of daily life by merging with image (figure/shadow). From now on, time becomes something whose theory is peeped by being pushed back, something chosen, something recorded and turned intoa malady of physical activity, i.e. technological dominance. 

In his Principles of Art History (1915), Heinrich Wölfflin notes that: 'No one will argue that the “eye” will make progress for itself: The eye will always aid other areas in a conditioner way. The existence of'an optical scheme to be applied like a dead template to a world stemmed only from its own conditions is not at stake. However, this does not make impossible for a law to preserve its own efficacy among all these changes although one sees how he/she wants to see. To fish out this law is the main problematic of art history. It is the basic problem?(5) and implied an eye-centered movement of invasion. However, he should not have presumed that this implication would exceed over the verb to see how we want to see'and makes retinal look (optical way of secing) and appearance ordinary, thus the curiosity asking how would it look if seen under this light? would be replaced with the urge for 'visual sight' and 'the effort to melt in the supremacy of the eternal' with his own words. 

Let John Berger speak for us. 'For more than a century, photographers and their defenders have been arguing that photography deserves to be included in fine arts. However, doubtlessiy, it is not easy to predict how successful they have been to make this argument acceptable. Whereas most of the people take, enjoy use and value photographs, they do not regard photography as a field of art. And I must add that arguments of photograph defenders, including mine, are a little bit notional/ academic'(6). Let us reveal that as of today, photograph(ers) is taking precedence over the art without waiting for its judgment; in other words, whether photography isart or not is nota guestion of photograph(er), but of art. 

Photography has absorbed all discussions about “mimesis, which has been a pain in the neck for centuries, and made art (generalliy) and painting (specificaliy) withdraw delicately. 

E. H. Gombrich had to confirm all these developments as follows: 'Even though snapshot has transformed the portrait, it made us understand the problem of similarity much more cleariy than past centuries could have formulated. Capturing life in a frame has attracted attention to the paradox of the game about freezing facial lines in a paused moment which we cannot realize in the  flow of events.(7) 

From now on, photography has combined metaphysics and technology, which are two different İevels, and thus absorbed nearly all terminology of art. It will only be possible to interpret these levels in an exchange by putting the current theory of art into brackets to be used for its case when necessary and opening its own parenthesis, i.e. lexicon, freely. 

This action has no material other than the artistic journey of photographers. 

Murat Aydın: Witness of the Moment 

At this exhibition titled Witness of the Moment by Murat Aydın, the metaphysical undertone expresses the value he attributes to photography. 

As we mentioned above, present time is the ravine between what was passing and nearmissing, and collects the dust of the past and the color (prediction) of the future. 

Reminding that ravine was defined by Ibn Arabi as “something between martyrdom and the invisible world and exists only in delusions” (8), we can argue that Murat Aydın regards photography as recording of the moment reguired by internal obligation

'Thus, what led Murat Aydın to photography must have been the necessity he felt for carrying the capture (record) of the moment (present) to the realm of knowledge (awareness) of the existence from the interest of it, while passing and coming are close at hand

On the other hand, Murat Aydın's photography act and art can be characterized as an effort to unite with God in a true perception of time through gentrifying present (the moment) in the past as a pleasure destination and marking it (present) in the future. 

Besides, this act wili have another kind of value for combining the time of photographer, time of the photograph, and time of the person who will look at this photograph in the future. The present of the photograph will engage with the present of future person and create its own present time via new associations to originate from the view of looker, 

Another point in Murat Aydın photography is his sensitivity for the control of “visual noise,” to borrow E.H. Gombrich's words. 

If we use digital camera terminology, we can easily say that Murat Aydın's photographs are not subject to “Programmed Automatic Capture.” Therefore, a choice for decrease in or conscious intensification of “visual noise” in each photograph is at stake, be it fullness or emptiness. In this context, the fact that Murat Aydın's photos contain few and many objects have a lingual (expressive) imperative, which can be realized through a careful glance. 

Based on this, we can emphasize that the intellectual aspect of Murat Aydın's photography goes beyond tis technical aspect. Of course, what we call color is the child of the light and has a direct proportion to the coloring capacity of our camera. However, beyond showing something as how it is, showing it with a different look is our responsibility. For instance, when capture a photograph while the sun is high, we lose shadows while we have dark shadows in a photograph we capture close to sunset. Fora photographer, every hour is sole and unigue as there is no repetition in fate, and every moment is an expression of a change, which is not identical but similar to another. 

It is obvious that such intellectual and fictive approaches of Murat Aydın go beyond the mathematical system (exposure balance) reversing one another while capturing photos. Elements such as chroma and gamma reguired by the photograph itself is still his responsibility just to increase the emphasis of gestures captured. 

Another important point which drew me closer to Murat Aydın's photography is his insistence on capturing different modes of life like loneliness, idleness, indecisiveness, desolation, liturgy, rituals, and of course, humor. 

And if we remember how irreplaceable humor is for miniaturists to emphasize the vanity of wearing oneself out for this world, we can decide that Murat Aydın is adescendant of this Lineage. 

And let's talk about Murat Aydın's style of photography. 

As ordinary people, we try to understand even an original piece of art through comparing it to similar pieces. Thus, it is normal to try to understand the work of each photographer by comparing it to some kind of painting. In other words, the first rule to talk about the style exclusive to that photograph is to borrow from the terminology of painting. I'm saying “borrow” because the vocabulary of photography is wider than that of painting due to technological differences. 

From this point of view, the very first thing a photographer learns from the art of painting is that what he/she captures is not an object but an appcarance of it. As mentioned above, not the object (its optical posture) but the visibility of it changes moment to moment in terms of time, moment, light, color etc. What we call the witnessing of the photographer is him/her sharing the appearance of visibility through jotting ali these details, which will not attract the attention of any other person, for his/her personal history and work. 

Despite ali these, the process of creating a style in the art of photography does not work out as it does in painting because, for photography, linearity, shadiness, chroma, darkness, lightness etc. work according to shape and movements such as naturalism, impressionism, surrealism etc. work according to technological hardware

When creating a style, photographer relies on the reality of painting thanks to technological opportunities. For instance, he knows that if he heightens the average of ISO value, the lines (conturs) of the object will be hardened, whereas they will be refined if he lowers it. Therefore, when we mention a photographer's style, what we mention first is his/her specific preferences about mathematical values. 

And when we try to decide Murat Aydın's style of photography, we will be speaking about how he discovers the conditions of an object, which presents not itself but its visibility, and how he captures ideal presentation levels. When we look closely at his photographs in the exhibition, we immediately realize that compassions special for this build themselves on their own. 

In the thematic plan, we understand that Murat Aydın firstiy carries beliefs to photographs in a harmony of act (ritual) and color cohesion. To jot people's behavior regardless of their religion means jotting their stances and ways of sensation. Knowing that images are unable to tell their own stories, we make them tell our stories as an 'audience contribution, which will certainly draw us to Murat Aydın's photographs. 

I want to finish my essay about Murat Aydın's photography and style with a citation from the short story Colors by Victoria Finlay: 

“We were just sitting in the half-dark drinking salty teas and was telling me how a god appears before the boy in the dream. “I can tell you how to have anything you want in this world and even wisdom” said God. “And how?” asked the boy ardentiy. “Easy” uttered God, “All you have to do is to close your eyes and not to think about an aguamarine sea.” The boy closed his eyes confidentiy, however his mind was full of waves and a jade and misty sky. He tried to think about the red, tambours, the wind but the sea went on occupying his mind just like a tide. He remembered his dream for years, sit guietiy and tried not to think about the green. But never had success. Then, one day, when he became an old man, he eventualiy did it. He sat there without any kind of hue in his mind. He opened his eyes and smiled and when my monk friend came here, he also opened his eyes and smiled. “He smiled' said the monk, “since he already knew that he had everything he desired in the world.(9) 

1.St. Augustine, Confessions, Kabalcı Publisher, İstanbul 2010 

2. Suhrawardi, The Philosophy of Illumination, Üsametullah Sami, Türkiye Yazma Eserler Kurumu Publisher, İstanbul 2015 3. ibn Arabi, Meccan Revelations 6, Litera Publishing, İstanbul 2007 

4. Ibn Arabi, Mecocan Revelations 1, Litera Publishing, İstanbul 2006 

5. Heinrich Wölflin, Principles of Art History. Hayalperest Publications, İstanbul 2015 

6. John Berger, Understanding a Photograph, Metis Publications, İstanbul 2015 

7. E. H. Gombrich, Image and the Eye, Yapı Kredi Publications, İstanbul 2014 

8. Ibn Arabi, Meocan Revelations 11, Litera Publishing, İstanbul 2009 

9. Victoria Finlay, ColourTravel Through the Paintbox, Doet Kitabevi Publications, Ankara 2007 


Türk yazar, eleştirmen İlk ve orta öğrenimini Yozgat'ta tamamladı. Ankara Meslek Yüksekokulu Kamu Sevk ve İdaresi Bölümü'nü bitirdi.