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Lone and Secluded

“We choose loneliness because we want to feel free. But with the Covid-19 crises there arise an urgent question: what happens when the freedom of our modern life is restricted or lost, what’s then left but loneliness inside our own limited world?”– Sila Yalazan, 2020.

The Turkish born female artist, Sila Yalazan are with her photographer project “Lone and Secluded” from 2020 investigating the social and mental consequences of the Covid-19 crises when the accustomed structures and values of our cultures are dissolving and we as individuals become trapped in our own limited world filled with anxiety and hopelessness caused by the loneliness forced upon us by society and ourselves. In “Lone and Secluded” Sila Yalazan has created a narrative by which she reflects about what she and her family were going through doing the first period of the pandemic in spring-summer 2020, where they also experienced the grief caused by loosing a close family member – a grief which she and her family had to cope with themselves because the pandemic had isolated her family from their usual network.

“I have always been hiding my true self because I have felt too vulnerable in the chaotic world that surround me. Maybe that’s why I create fiction, because I cannot fully be myself. Through my work of fiction I search for hope in the unspoken words, gestures and moods between us as human individuals. I experience a certain mystery there that needs to be expressed and communicated so it can be shared with others. It is my way to exceed my anxiety and loneliness. With my work of fiction I try to create cracks in our isolated and solidified world where we are trapped in structures, predetermined roles and institutionalized values such as family, individuality and the expectation of the ‘normal’ “. Without these cracks of creativity between the shared reality and my own hidden personal world, I would be lost in my own darkness. It is through these cracks that I can let the light in.”– Sila Yalazan

Instead of conveying the existing reality Sila Yalazan wants to re-build the particularly restricted world that she experienced under the Covid-19 pandemic using references from different disciplines such as cinematography and painting – among others those artist whom have inspired her the most through her own struggle in becoming an artist. In her photos she makes references to Edvard Munch, Rene Magritte, Edward Hopper, Andrei Tarkovsky who through their work represent different aspects of anxiety, loneliness and freedom and who was driven forward by their profound need to challenge how the world is perceived.

“Even when we were standing together while our life underwent major changes in this period of uncertainty, we were searching for light.”– Sila Yalazan

In order to create atmospheric and isolated scenes Sila Yalazan have tried to balance the strong light coming from the windows into her families house in an attempt to dispel the gloomy and haunting interior light. Like Andrei Tarkovsky who utilized natural light as a character rather than have it simply be in the setting, Sila Yalazan take not only advantage of the natural light to emphasize a mood or bring attention to a certain object or character, she also mix the natural light with hidden sources of artificial light in order to emphasize her fictional world. With her photos Sila Yalazan invites the audience to participate in an ongoing investigation together with her by pursuing and challenging the mystery of the real world through her fiction.