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Beril Gür: Permanence Exists With a Very Precise and Sensitive Balance

Photography Artist Beril Gür, who made a colourful series called "Street Photos from Home" a few years ago joined conversation on the notion of home. You could see all photographs in the series from here .

Beril Gür

In German there is a relationship between the words Heim (Home) - Heimat (Homeland) – Geheim (Secret) – Unheimlich (Heimlich: Hidden – Unheimlich: Uncanny). What kind of a relationship do you correlate between these words?

When we look at all of these words, while familiarity is associated with the sense of “feeling at home”, the unknown relates to the concept of uncanny.

We build a safe and intimate space, surrounded by familiar objects at home with the clues as to the person we are and we want to become.

The definition of unknown, which is outside of our safe limits, as uncanny is an indication to how much our perception is both introverted and limited.

Photographs are from the "Street Photos from Home" series. Copyright © Beril Gür

In Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard uses house as a tool to analyse the human soul. Because “Our soul is an abode. And by remembering ‘houses’ and ‘rooms,’ we learn to ‘abide’ within ourselves.” What do you think about this analogy between house and  body? Or what is the imaginative width of “house” for you?

Bachelard calls the room and the home “psychological diagrams”. He envisions a “reading” of a room/home. This description inspires me to investigate the imagery of home.

How do you think has refugee crisis and the global pandemic that we are living through changed/has been changing the concepts of home, ground and homeland?

In these days we remember how fragile the “permanence” of things in life actually are, how they exist in a system with a very precise balance, and that everything is connected to one another in a sensitive way.

The process of migration and epidemic result with either escape from or lockdown in the house in opposite ways. In light of these events we reconsider the meanings behind various concepts of home, place and homeland.

For instance, we add new meanings to the concept of home. As you have quoted in the question before, in his book Gaston Bachelard emphasizes that the threats outside enhances the intimacy of the house.

Hence, the new transformation of the house to a bunker explains how the home is supposed to make us feel safer than ever.

Extra: In "Street Photos from Home", there is a very colourful life on the street. We've been talking about home so much, we've already been staying home enough," what does street mean to you?

The reason why there is a colorful life in “street photos from home” is because I was looking for seeing exactly that at the time. What the street means to me changes periodically alongside my mood.

However, more often I enjoy being “out”.

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