Becoming a Monument
A few years ago, my aunt gave me my grandfather's photo album and his old camera. It hadn't been used since he died in the 1960's. I took it to an old photographer in the Sirkeci neighborhood in Istanbul, to have it repaired. I took a couple of pictures of my father's family. I wanted them to look at that camera again. The film is still in the camera and I am here (USA) and the camera is there, back at home.
In the album, some images captured my attention more than others, especially the ones where he was setting up the tripod and taking self-portraits. One is on top of a broken Greek column, another in the gap between two columns in a modernist pavillion, another in gardens. He lived in two cities and in two countries all his life: Pristine, Kosovo, and Izmir, Turkey. Here in Turkey he was an immigrant becoming a part of the city, a part of the architecture, a part of nature, making images of his identity for himself to look at. The one who didn't belong, but wanted to belong was for a moment a monument and permanent in the image.
When I came to Providence, the only thing that brought me here, that I knew here, was the medium of glass. So like my grandfather, I transformed myself into a monument for a second and made a permanent image of it, becoming a part of the place.