“My oeuvre focuses on impacts of urbanization and gentrification, civic rights and participatory citizenship, documentary sustainability of local cultures, devastation of nature caused by humankind. Cities are arenas in which inhabitants shape their idiosyncratic mode of living and their shelters. They happen to be the reflection of the societies that erected them, you can read into a culture from the settlements they built / build. They are open air anthropology / ethnography museums where you can observe the real soul, in other words the genius loci.
I see producing documentary / fictitious works on the sustainability of cultural, architectural heritage and memory as a form of involvement and resistance. While doing this, I aim to defamiliarize ordinariness and make the resulting visuality provide basis for an unexpected perception.
The unique text that the highly respected Istanbul-based author, writer, playwright and poet Murathan Mungan wrote for my very first monograph titled New Turkey, sheds light on my creation instincts: : ““When one views Murat Germen’s works, which display a combination of mastery and craftsmanship, one notices at the very outset that he is a photographer with a point to prove. In his photographs, with constant reference to space, the question ‘where is this place?’ gains particular importance; [as the artist’s photographs], to use Lefebvre’s definition, are involved in the ‘production of space.”
Mungan goes on as follows: “In my opinion, Murat Germen’s eye has a cinemascopic sensitivity. Germen’s photographs also have a textual sub-structure; his photographs demand not only to be seen, but also to be read…”.
In another text Stephan Berg (Director of the Kunstmuseum Bonn, curator) wrote as the foreword to Germen’s second monograph published by Skira, he asserts: “The city that Murat Germen creates in his group of works Muta-morphosis evinces an inner affinity with Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Germen’s works also establish a narrative that should not be confused with the city that is described therein, [as he] uses digitality in order to invent a reality which lies beyond the visible. Digitalization is not a formal means for rendering the scenes more spectacular, but serves instead as an instrument for reinforcing the metaphorical subtext of the series beyond what is photographically apparent.””
Murat Germen is an artist, academic and archivist using photography as an expression and research tool.
Born 1965, he currently lives and works in Istanbul and London. He has a MA degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he went as a Fulbright scholar and received AIA Henry Adams Gold Medal for academic excellence.
He works as a professor of art, photography and new media at Sabanci University in Istanbul. He have many papers, photo series on architecture, photography, art or new media published in various publications ; he has lectured at tens of conferences internationally.
His oeuvre focuses on impacts of overurbanization and gentrification, civic rights and participatory citizenship, documentary sustainability of local cultures, human devastation of nature.
He has two monographies, one published by Skira (Italy) and the other by MASA (Turkey).
He has joined over eighty solo or group exhibitions in Turkey, USA, Italy, Germany, UK, Mexico, Portugal, Uzbekistan, Greece, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Iran, India, Australia, France, Canada, Bahrain, South Korea, Dubai, China, Sweden, Switzerland, Egypt.