Vahap Avşar's one-man exhibition, "Lost Shadows," opened in the Forum at SALT Beyoğlu on Aug. 11. "Lost Shadows" has 50 photographs selected by Avşar from thousands of images found in the AND Publishing Company archive. In 2010 Avşar procured the rights of AND's exhaustive inventory. The pieces in the exhibition comprise images that never made it to print circulation. In "Lost Shadows" they are printed in rather large but identical dimensions and stand, wedged in self-supporting concrete bases. "Lost Shadows" speaks of an era when there was neither direct calling nor the Internet - a time when it was common practice to send postcards with panoramas of faraway landscapes from a holiday, exile or compulsory military service to family members, friends and lovers. The AND collection delivers a photographic journey initiated by photography exhibitions all around Anatolia beginning in the late 1970s.
Wandering from village to village, the photographers, commissioned by AND, documented the streets, squares, buildings and the region's distinctive geography to be used as postcards and posters. The images capture a specific time of the regions. Signs and symbols, customs, gestures and body language, economics and even the politics of the era can be seen in the photographs. The most enigmatic pieces in the collection are those that have never been used, or have been excluded from the set of attentively manipulated and exposed arrangements. Unexpected moments and things that are not supposed to be in the frame as well as inimitable poses allow the photographs to unfold different stories. There is nevertheless an oddity in treating the geography as if it were an open studio during the tense political environment of the late 1970s, which was then followed by the fearful period brought by the 1980 coup.