- What’s On
Istanbul Modern is commemorating the photography of Şakir Eczacıbaşı on the 10th anniversary of his passing with an exhibition titled ‘Selected Moments’.
Considered to be ‘one of Turkey’s leading contemporary photographers’, Şakir Eczacıbaşı begun his artistic career in the 1960s, which he pursued alongside his business life. From 1968 until his death in 2010, he produced 43 thematic albums, documenting people and landscapes of Turkey.
A champion for the arts, Şakir Eczacıbaşı also contributed in many respects to the art and culture scene in Turkey; he organised Eczacıbaşı Cultural Films Series with Sabahattin Eyüboğlu and Pierre Biro between 1960-1962, initiated the Turkish Film Association in 1965 and chaired the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) for 16 years, during which the Foundation grew to be one of the most important cultural institutions in Turkey, organising five different festivals on the international scale.
‘Selected Moments’ brings together more than 300 photographs, focusing on two periods of Eczacıbaşı’s photography; his impressionist photographs from the 1960s focusing on ‘the stimulating and emotional effect of colours’, and his preoccupation with the formalism of the medium from 1980 onwards, which prompted him to project uncertainty, movement and changes in daily life.
In the words of Bülent Erkmen, curator of the exhibition, ‘Şakir Eczacıbaşı approached the things he wanted to do, his pursuits and interests, life, and photography with appetite and enthusiasm’. Atalay Gümrah, the CEO of the Eczacıbaşı Group, narrates a personal memory of him where Şakir Eczacıbaşı once said: ‘I take photographs because I want to remember my past with images. And not just to remember, I also want to share them with the viewer.’
The exhibition is accompanied by a book written by Şakir Eczacıbaşı right before his death and published posthumously by the Dr Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation. The Eczacıbaşı Group also sponsored a website in Şakir Eczacıbaşı’s name, which documents his life and photography in a digital archive.