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Cemre Yesil - Double Portrait | Space Diptych, 2021

Two inkjet prints on matte Hahnemühle fine art paper
50 x 37, 5 cm for each print
Edition of 10 + 2AP

This diptych is part of Cemre Yeşil’s latest series titled Double Portrait. The project examines the relationship between mother and child through different lenses. It deals with topics such as identity, loss, and memory. The work questions the traditions of portraiture and explores the psychological aspects of photography. 

“Just as I can feel myself feeling myself
through the sense of touch,
I see myself seeing myself
through the photographic skin.

The portraits of my mother,
suddenly act as mirrors
that reflect
an image of myself
without my presence.

This is a non-double portrait
a double portrait.

Lurking behind the body of the mother
I perceive the ‘non-sitter’
who is absent in the final image.”

- Cemre Yeşil

In the nineteenth century, when photographing a baby, it was common that the mother or caretaker would be hidden by a cloth while the photograph was being taken. This genre is called hidden mother photography. These ‘double portraits’ are the starting point of Yeşil’s work. Contemplating the ‘hidden embrace’ as a symbolic gesture for the comforting maternal presence, the artist created her own versions of double portraits. In the process, the portraits of her own mother became mirrors of herself. Looking at portraits of her mother she describes feeling herself through the photograph, what she calls ‘the photographic skin’. For Yeşil, photography has become a way of making sense of her own identity by bringing together different emotions and life events: losing her grandmother, a grieving mother, losing love, finding love, desire, hormones, pregnancy, change, birth and motherhood.

With her intimate, raw work, Yeşil wants to take a candid look at motherhood and break through its clichés. Double Portrait shows the complex relationship between mother-child and the unfolding process of motherhood . It is also a visual response to the unimaginable death of everyone’s mother. Double Portrait invites the viewer to remember what it means to be held and experiencing what it means to hold regardless of cultural norms related to gender. The work speaks of something we all know about emotionally, but can’t articulate all that easily. We know it when we see it. We know it when we feel it. We know it when it is absent. We carry it when we have been held, and we carry it when we have not been held.

Cemre Yeşil Gönenli is a Turkish photographer and artist living in Istanbul. Her BA in photography is from Istanbul Bilgi University and she holds an MA in Visual Arts from Sabancı University. In 2017, she dropped out her practice-based PhD in London College of Communication. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally including The Guardian, International Center of Photography New York, The British Journal of Photography, Colors Magazine, La Fabrica, 6 Mois, Istanbul Modern Museum, and Salt Beyoğlu. Her 2020 book Hayal & Hakikat was the winner The Award for Best Photography Book of the Year in the international category PhotoEspaña 2021. The same book was shortlisted in Paris Photo Aperture Photobook Awards 2020 for The PhotoBook of the Year Prize, The Historical Book Award in The Rencontres d’Arles 2021 and was longlisted for Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Awards 2021.
She was nominated for The Foam Paul Huf Award of Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, both in 2014 and 2021, for ING Unseen Talent Award 2016 and for Lead Awards 2016. The British Journal of Photography - Ones to Watch issue (February 2015) introduced her amongst the 25 most promising new talents in a global survey of emerging photographers with the work ‘For Birds’ Sake’ (in collaboration with Maria Sturm). With the same work she was a finalist at the PHE OjodePez Award for Human Values and Renaissance Photography Prize, Rencontres d’Arles Author Book Award and Prix Levallois.
Her works are included in the collections of Houston Center for Photography, New York Library, Istanbul Modern Museum, Soho House London, Soho House Istanul and RISD Library.
She currently lectures on photography in Falmouth University MA Photography and Istanbul Bilgi University BA Visual Communication Design.

She lauched her latest book titled ‘Double Portrait’ as an independent continuation of her PhD research project which was shortlisted in PhotoEspaña 2021 Best Photography Book of the Year Award. The work is an outcome of 9 years of research and practical work on photographic double portraiture; A hybrid book of photographs and texts on mother's embrace and absence. The work was exhibited in Milli Reasürans Art Gallery (Istanbul, 2021) and at the Verzasca Photography Festival (Verzasca, 2021).
She works as a writer and curator and she is the founder of FiLBooks; a space dedicated to photo books, artist talks and workshops which in 2017 became a publishing house in Karaköy, Istanbul.

These photo prints have a small white border around all sides. For a framer this border is necessary to be able to frame it properly. The print will be carefully wrapped and send as an insured package. You will receive an e-mail with a Track & Trace code when the package is on its way. A framed copy will be on display at Foam Editions, the gallery on the third floor of Foam Fotografiemuseum.

For more information or questions about buying this diptych, please contact the Foam Editions team.

T. +31 (020) 5516500
E. [email protected]

€575,00 Incl. tax
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