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dream machine

 My father was called Ibrahim Özdisci. He worked as a radiologist in Izmir, Turkey. As a child, I sometimes accompanied him to the hospital. X-rays in the hospital darkroom are my earliest memories of photography. In the summer of my teenage years, we would go on multi-week road trips to the southeast and to the Aegean coast, which was not yet so developed and built up. We pitched our tent from day to day and I returned exhausted from folding and unfolding it so many times. I was also very bored from being only around adults. My father's camera was an escape route that allowed me to be alone and to stroll around on my own a bit. My father drove a 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle (VW 1303), a turquoise blue L380. In retrospect, this color code conjures for me a golden age, one made of recklessness, of sharing and of freedom of movement.

 The word turquoise, from which the Turks inherited their name, first appeared in the French language in the 13th century. And the turquoise stones, mined in Iran but passing through Turkish territory, were commonly referred to as Turkish stones during the Renaissance. Pline the Elder in his natural history (in Latin Naturalis Historia) evokes this shimmering color whose floating seems to perpetually oscillate from green to blue. A color that the travel writer and poet Nicolas Bouvier in L'usage du monde associates with the ruin of the earthenware tiles of the great mosque of Ispahan (Iran), which loosen and fall silently like dead leaves: Perhaps it is their color which allows them to fall smoothly. It’s that famous blue (…) Here, it is cut with a little turquoise, yellow and black which make it vibrate and give it that power of levitation that one usually associates only with holiness.

 Faced with the restrictions linked to the Covid 19 pandemic and the erosion of civil liberties in Turkey, I felt the need to reconnect with the levitating power of this turquoise color. My father's car has been sold since his death in 2010, and most of my friends have gone into exile all over Europe, from Lisbon to Berlin. But I still have my dad's sleeping bag that I can fold and unfold like our tent used to be, and in which I can travel as if in a dream machine. I have returned to Turkey to visit my mother and I have also made a few excursions that followed in the footsteps of our past travels. A few of these photographs I have attached to the turquoise duvet and occasionally I spend the night with them. When I wake up, I record my dreams, my disillusionment, my hopes and I share them with friends scattered all over the world. Our situation seems like an endless fall, but we still have the relief of the turquoise color to hang on to.

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