“Conveying information about objects' being rather than their appearance, inquiring into the mysteries of the unconscious, and revealing the true reality behind material reality have been a movement launched by the Surrealists. These artists produced works that collaged objects out of their contexts, questioned conventional habits and urged us to change them if needs be, while also expecting participation from the spectators. Constructing his theme of Surrealism, Dura analyses the position of the contemporary individual on the one hand, while referencing to artists like Max Ernst, René Magritte and Salvador Dali on the other, providing a nostalgic dimension to his photographs.
Saygun Dura employs the fish, the prominent aquatic creature of the magical and soundless atmosphere of underwater life as the primary metaphor of all his arrangements. As a creature separated from its natural habitat and as a subject matter, the fish is an element of alienation in the photographs. Drifting the spectator into a startling, fantastical world, these images induce us to the inner world of the artist and to his perspective, while urges us to contemplate about our own existence, location and prejudices by confronting us with aspects of life we do not volunteer to witness. Besides the metaphor of the fish as the alienated individual, who is unable to breathe and about to drown, some images focus on the primary element of life, sexuality, and the specifically the sexuality of women. In these works of predominant female sexuality, we encounter the disconcerting and contradictory juxtaposition of innocence and a devilish aspect, references to women's role in discourse of power, as well as those references to the anguished individual left in despair and abandonment in an uncivilised world. Saygun Dura's diligent works, as an authentic expression of surrealist photography in Turkey, builds an interactive structure with the intellectual contribution of the spectator”.
Lecturer, Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Department of Graphic Design
Born in 1964, Saygun Dura worked as photographer and director of photography at advertisement agencies between 1989 and 1996, and has been pursuing his professional career as commercial photographer at his private studio.
Having given seminars on commercial photography and creative photography in numerous universities, Dura also lectured at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts Department of Graphic Design, Bahçeşehir University Department of Photography, Doğuş University Department of Graphic Design and Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Fine Arts, on commercial photography, and studio and lighting techniques. Dura has curated the exhibition, titled Illuminators of the Underwater, as well as edited its book. He has also worked in the shoots of Do You Know Hasankeyf?, and shot the underwater imagery for the cisterns, wells and drains beneath the Topkapı Palace. His works have been taken into private collections and displayed at museums, as well as auctioned. Dura is also a diving instructor and has performed underwater shoots and held workshops in numerous locations around the world.
Apart from his national and international awards, Dura also opened solo exhibitions in İstanbul and New York, joined numerous group exhibitions, served as selection juries and worked in photography displays and panels.