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PORTFOLIO

18.11.2016

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“A house is burning, a hen and a goose stand around. A hotel smoulders, in a window over the door is a portrait of a dog. Cats are all over the place – underneath cars, on roofs, between people’s legs. And then there’s a chicken, looking as though it wants to replicate the cover of Abbey Road.

Today, at a first glimpse it might appear somewhat naive to show a series of animals in the Turkish city – but here it is anyway. Even though Istanbul was burning.

When the series was produce in January 2014, the disputes surrounding Gezi Park had just calmed down. Even so, there were harsh confrontations practically every evening betweens the demonstrators and the power of the State. The people lamented the victims of Taksim Square, denounced the gentrification of the city, demanded free internet. The mood of the protesters swung palpably between confusion and anger.

Only the animals did what they normally do.

In Istanbul I realised that at home in Hamburg I don’t have any chickens; but Turkish men say ‘puut’, when they want to catch the animals’ attention – the same as people do in my homeland of East Friesland.

Photographing the daily lives of animals at the edge of the disturbances seemed absurd to me, yet somehow unambiguous. To draw the eye away from the dominant motif and see what else is going on. Then the cats, a couple of dogs and sometimes a goose or a chicken make it to the forefront – behaving like everything’s normal.”

Jann Wilken

Born in East Friesland, Germany, Wilken studied Visual Communications in Hamburg and Zurich. After graduating he worked as a free-lance photographer, and has been published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Zeit. Wilken lives and works in Hamburg.


www.jannwilken.net
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