In his works, photographer Savas Boyraz sheds a critical light on the landscapes of his origin and descendance, with which he feels strong ties. Some of his early works are based on documentary photo series about the common people in South Eastern Anatolia: people in a state of transition, travellers or migrants.
Boyraz’s cinematic perspective, his specific narrative approach and his conceptual interest converge from differing directions within the framework of his works, so enabling striking images of social inequality, the architecture of violence, and an understanding of material and psychological damage and its significance. In 2016 Boyraz began working on the State we are in. The multilayered cinematic narrative shows images of destruction from the perspective of those affected. Boyraz uses mainly found objects to describe an anthology of state violence beyond territorial and temporal borders. The critical commentary in his works deals with the global phenomena of a military economy and its instruments of power, which are changing both urban and rural areas from the Middle East to Latin America.
Boyraz’s presentation brings together video and photo works from the years 2018 and 2019 in the context of an exhibition design conceived especially for the location. The body of works entitled the State we are in forms the centre point of his installation, which unfolds from the artist’s reflections on Pablo Picasso’s world famous painting “Guernica”, one successful attempt to make the horrors of war and violence universally tangible. Boyraz’s exhibition promises a critical promenade of narrative politics to unfold stories from destroyed cities, militarist gentrification and architectures of violence. This specific tone of grey colour is borrowed from the artist’s memories of state offices, schools etc., and refers to “the state we used to be able to define” whereas the immediate actions in the monitors compose such a state of statelessness. Eventually, there is no state, there are no citizens, but mountains.