Subjectivity in contemporary visualization of reality: re-visiting Ottoman miniatures
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Germen, Murat (2012) Subjectivity in contemporary visualization of reality: re-visiting Ottoman miniatures. In: EVA London 2012, London, UK
Though Ottoman miniatures are 2D representations, they carry the potential of conveying an individual’s perception in a more detailed manner as compared to 3D perspective renderings. In a typical 2-vanishing-point perspective; objects / subjects drawn in the foreground hide the ones that are located at their back: This phenomenon is called occlusion. In Ottoman miniatures there is no occlusion, all object / subject illustrations are wholistic, there is no partial description of figures. Consequently, you end up with a life form that is the synthesis of individual forms, a sui generis state... This unique visual narrative can be extended to cubist works where multifaceted descriptions are observed.
Another advantage of Ottoman miniatures is that hierarchies of image and image maker are quite clear. Miniatures make use of distance, void, shape, scale relationships and their layout to give a sense of depth in space. Though objectivity is very much valued in visual representation, ideal objectivity is not possible since representations are created by subjects and subjects belong to cultures that have different criteria in forming / perceiving portrayals. Moreover, tools that are used for visual representations usually prove to be narrower than the scope of human perception.
Departing from the point of view explained above, Muta-morphosis is a photography project that is created as an almost surreal visualization stemming from the real. The lack of a single perspectival structure due to multiplicity of perspectives after compressed panoramic imaging, can be linked to Ottoman miniatures, which in turn, connects the global contemporary representation to its local traditional counterpart.
Keywords: Ottoman miniature painting, contemporary photography, child drawings, visualization, representation, reality, documentary, subjectivity, objectivity, visual narration.
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