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Can Dagarslani’s view on photography is different from most other photographers. Interesting architectural structures and a detailed focus on the geometries of the surroundings that he shoots show a great love for composition. Take a look at his work yourself and you will understand why we were eager to talk to him.
How would you describe the style of your work? What makes you different from other photographers?
My love for urbanism and architecture is evident in my organised quirkiness and my, sometimes sarcastic, game of the human form. Human relations, the fragility of our social boundaries, love, identities and all these other drugs are some of my preferable thematic, they blend in a vortex of what can easily be described as the new normal. And perhaps at the end of the day, that’s my biggest asset, documenting and exposing the limits of our generation’s ‘New Normal’, with everything that makes a precious, deep and intimate abnormality.
Your interest in photography increased when you studied architecture. How come?
My interest in photography started with my inner world’s influence, not out of curiosity. I'm always carrying a camera and documenting the architectural forms that surround me. Nothing has ever belonged to me like photography. The subjectivity of it motivated me to take photos and that brought me here. I feel so lucky to be able to move away from the stress of life through such an exciting reason.
What equipment do you use and how do you edit your photos? 
I only shoot with my film cameras. Thanks to film photography, I don't need that much work for post-production. I can easily tell that I’m a perfectionist, so I’m very focused on all details during the shooting. Therefore almost nothing is edited after the scan of films.

You started shooting on a digital camera. Why did you decide to change to analogue and how did this influence your approach to photography?
When you're looking through the lens, you don't need any regulation. I prefer to let my subconscious take over and reflect introspective elements. That's what I feel whenever I shoot film. When I grab a digital camera, it controls me more than I do. And the sharpness of digital photography doesn't fit to my personality. I'm in love with the soft tones of film.
Could you tell a little bit more about your latest series Serenity?
There is a strong bond between people and their experiences in terms of shaping one another. Yet, is it only possible to reach serenity while getting old? I made this series, which questions the existence of a practical way of life in serenity, in the Bauhaus school of Dessau. The starting point of the series became the contrast I wanted to create between the models and the three main colours of Bauhaus —red, blue and yellow— while bringing out the organic changes of perception that is evident in my works.
How do you find the right models to shoot with?
Models are the main pieces of the puzzle; I am always looking for new people. When I get in contact with someone, I try to analyse them to feel if the personality is a perfect fit to the series. It shouldn’t be just a visual match.

You began shooting Invisible Cities in 2011, and since then you captured places like Paris, Berlin and Barcelona amongst others. What is the meaning and aim of this series?
The cinematographic silhouette of the cities I travel to is the first reason I have ever grabbed a camera. The architectural structure affects me a lot during production. A new place offers me little surprises in most of its corners and awakens many exciting feelings inside of me. 
Why didn’t you include your hometown, Istanbul?
While details fade out in the city that I live in, in a foreign place my perception is wide open. That’s the reason why I prefer shooting in mystical cities that I am not familiar with. But on the other hand I live in the most chaotic city of a strange country, a city that feeds me and determines the rhythm of my life. Living in Istanbul, unlike many people, gives me assurance, some kind of serenity.
There is something unusual and curious about your photography. How do you come up with the concept of a shoot? For example for the Inside Out series you shot in 2015.
First of all, I enjoy observing, especially objects, their colours and textures. I always take notes of these visuals that inspire me in my everyday life. So the on-going daily life inspires me the most and often serves as a starting point. 
I also take strong interest in other disciplines like fashion, cinematography and the art of painting, which also has a great impact on my work. Inside Out was an editorial for ADER. I mainly combined their simple cut and strong colour range clothes with the environment, creating a complete harmony through minimalism and simplicity.

Is there a deeper message you want to tell with your work?
Nothing I do has a clear purpose. I try to tell the truth about the human attitude, the truth as I see it through my camera. The search of identity is the starting point in my work.
How much of your own personality and life inspires you in coming up with photography ideas?
Like I said, the on-going daily life inspires me the most. The lights that brighten me every hour of the day, colours of objects and the shape of the human body are the basis of my photographs. Besides this, my architectural expertise definitely has an influence on the space-object analysis. The perception of the space, the perspectives and the layers of it become a journey for me while creating my compositions. The geometries of a surrounding play a key role, becoming as much a character in the visual narrative as the models themselves. An open white space can be contained boundless potential for movement and form, whereas an emerging domestic space expands and limits the model’s possibilities, directing and regulating their actions even as it helps to define their roles.
Can you tell something about the series Identities and Identities II?
For this series I was dreaming of two identical and inseparable young models dressed and positioned in the same way. They would seem almost static, raised and articulated like dolls. The two bodies merge into one unique and extraordinary, yet weirdly, natural identity. They are looking more like kind of grotesque sculptures. I liked to emphasize this power by focusing on the relation of two models.

Most of your portraits feature women in an intimate way, often naked or barely clothed, yet it never comes across as sexual. How do you manage to avoid evoking this feeling?
Nowadays, gender and sexuality have been explored in many ways. I aim to represent the beauty of reality, yet some of my shots are quite surrealistic. I try to create delicately disturbing compositions while evoking striking surrealist images through realistic optical illusions. Everything seems carefully planned in minute detail, yet the finished product delivers a spontaneous and natural attitude. This is definitely the main goal of my work, to create that ‘beauty’.
You said you shot a fashion editorial for the clothing brand ADER, could you tell a little more about this work?
Yes, I created a fashion editorial for the clothing brand ADER, in which I used an exquisite and artistic interpretation of their design. The editorial prevails the simple forms, spot colours and the unknown sexuality of the models. It presents the garments with tenderness and movement, showing the clothes as the same skin of the characters, creating some confusion about what is inside and outside. The editorial is also attributing some elegance and beauty to the act of dressing.

Is there something exciting we can expect from you in the future?
I don't really like to talk about the ideas that haven't been realised yet. But I moved to New York for some months and I've already started to work on the new series that I want to shoot in the United States!

Sanne Nooitgedagt

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