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Photography (MA)

Gökhan Tanrıöver

Gökhan Tanrıöver is a Turkish-born photographic artist, currently based in Madrid. Following an early medical career, he realised his vocation lay elsewhere. He meticulously constructs his photographs using film and prints them in the darkroom, which serves as his personal sanctuary. Often using repetition and alteration between the frames, he considers the roll of film as an event where he performs with and for the camera to construct imagery that focuses on personal and cultural identity informed by personal experience and memory.

After completing his BA (Hons) in Photographic Arts (2017) from the University of Westminster he has been shortlisted for the Peaches and Cream Photography Competition (2017) and selected as a finalist in the Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition 160. His work has been included in numerous international group exhibitions including Separation and Belonging, which he co-curated as part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s First Thursday tour in May 2016. In 2017, he was chosen to participate in the Travers Smith CSR Art Programme and received their Emerging Talent award for his series Confessionals. The work was shown at Brighton Photo Fringe in 2018, receiving the Photohastings Shutter Hub award and was also shortlisted for the Athens Photo Festival 2019.

Gökhan’s images have featured in various publications including Der Greif, Shutter Hub, Photograd and The Pupil Sphere. His work is held in both private and public collections including Travers Smith, Hogan Lovells, Garrigues and the Guildhall Art Gallery. Following his debut solo show at Argentea Gallery, he has completed his MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art.

Above: So You've Ghosted Me - sequence of silver gelatin prints, 2019

Below: Bedfellow - silver gelatin print, 2021

Every man in Turkey over the age of 20 is required by law to participate in the military service, a rite of passage into a sovereign masculinity rife with nationalism. Despite homosexuality having been decriminalised during the Ottoman rule, the expression of queerness within the military is seen as incompatible with its values and threatens its core strength. On the contrary, the homosocial bonding between heteronormative men serving their conscription sustains and strengthens it.

Gay men wishing to be exempt from the service must declare and evidence their sexuality for the military to deploy a set of investigations, which intend to ascertain the applicant’s true sexuality. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is an internationally recognised psychological screening test comprising single sentences that are answered with a Yes or a No. The applicant’s responses must coincide with the identity of the gay man as dictated by the military: a dangerous man possessing the means to provoke, seduce and hence disrupt the military order.

In Evidence of My Sexual Misdemeanour, I photographically respond to the individual statements from the MMPI test in my own domestic space and handprint them in the darkroom, both territories serving as my sites of subversion. Through staging these photographs in a performative manner, I express and construct an identity on the gallery wall. This persona residing somewhere between fact and fiction aims to confront the imposed institutional identity of the gay man in contemporary Turkey and offer one of a multitude of queer identities as an alternative.

I have never been in trouble because of my sex behaviour. 2021

Diptych, edition of 5 + 2AP

Medium:

Fibre-based silver gelatin print

Size:

58.42 x 45.72cm (23 x 18 inches) each

I am very seldom troubled by constipation. 2021

Diptych, edition of 5 + 2AP

Medium:

Fibre-based silver gelatin print

Size:

58.42 x 45.72cm (23 x 18 inches) each

I have a good appetite. 2021

Edition of 5 + 2AP

Medium:

Fibre-based silver gelatin print

Size:

58.42 x 45.72cm (23 x 18 inches)

My sex life is satisfactory. 2021

Edition of 5 + 2AP

Medium:

Fibre-based silver gelatin print

Size:

58.42 x 45.72cm (23 x 18 inches)

I like to cook. 2021

Edition of 5 + 2AP

Medium:

Fibre-based silver gelatin print

Size:

58.42 x 45.72cm (23 x 18 inches)

I have no fear of water. 2021

Edition of 5 + 2AP

Medium:

Fibre-based silver gelatin print

Size:

58.42 x 45.72cm (23 x 18 inches)

I hear strange things when I am alone. 2021

Edition of 3 + 1AP

Medium:

Fibre-based silver gelatin print

Size:

Grid of 16 prints, 24 x 18cm each

I used to like drop-the-handkerchief. 2021

Edition of 3 + 1AP

Medium:

Fibre-based silver gelatin print

Size:

Grid of 16 prints, 24 x 18cm each
— Left: 'jarse' by Kutluğ Ataman, 2011: The exemption paper of the artist Kutluğ Ataman issued by the military hospital was exhibited in the twelfth edition of Istanbul Biennial in 2011. — Right: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): Listing of the MMPI items from various editions of the questionnaire

My research-based dissertation that lead to the works exhibited.

Medium:

Research-based dissertation

Size:

10, 481 words