In March 2020, the time that we have spent at home, one of the books I read was The Box Man by Kobo Abe. In one of the chapters, Abe wanders off the main story and asks a question: I wonder if you’ve heard about shellweed.
According to rumour, when a person smells the fragrance of shellweed, they say that they dream of being a fish. Keeping in mind that the concept of dream squeezes stories by stretching the intervals of a few seconds, and considering that the time spent underwater is quite slowly as compared to the earth; the passage of time that the dream fish experiences is quite different than usual. Therefore, it would be impossible to unrealize that this experience was a dream. However, what’s foremost is not realizing the dream but finding a way for awakening. For a fish without hands, arms, legs, fingers, and ears, we cannot speak of controlling the dream or finding a way to end it. And the one who sees the fish dream would drive round and round in a strange perception that lasted for ages. The one even cannot be sure that they would wake up again.
The first days of the COVID-19 pandemic were in rather a strange mood. Indeed, that strange mood goes on, and we are just gradually getting used to it. But in the first days, there were plenty of times that I stopped for a moment and pinched myself. They were such strange times that could have been only a dream sequence. If they were dream-sequences, I must realize it. Every time I pinched myself, it hurt.
In the meantime, I was far away from the subjects I usually photographed, and I could not focus on the issues that I usually have. So, these photographs are a playground, a quest in an extraordinary perception level.
Voiceover: Christoforos Botsis
Map design: Cemre Fidan Tüzün
Cover page of the dummy made in April 2020.
Cover design: Alper Yıldırım