The underlying thread in Nazif Topçuoğlu’s work is a constant preoccupation with time, memory and loss. His concern is about the transience of people and things in general, and he tries to reconstruct unclear and imperfect images of an idealized past. Such an attempt inevitably requires the ability to recapture past, hence his constant art-historical references to classic paintings and photographs as well as to authors such as Proust and Thomas Mann. Hence, Topçuoğlu has certain problems with the images becoming visually seductive in the process. Another and more specific aspect of Readers, is its preoccupation with the contradicting positions of women in Turkey. When employing the representations of youth as imagery, one has to deal with the issues of gender roles and male gaze. In these photographs, unlike the more common examples, a respectful stance towards the female has been taken. The subjectification of the female youth as a gender-free ideal, inevitably involves her intelligence, beauty, energy, and struggle as the major concerns of this work. The artist produces images, which are provocative but not exploitative for himself.


Nazif Topçuoğlu (1953, Ankara) completed his Master’s degree in Chicago Institute of Design in 1981 after graduating from Middle Eastern Technical University, Faculty of Architecture. He began working as a freelance photographer after his return to Turkey. Between 1998 and 1999, he worked as a consultant at Pamukbank Photo Gallery. He gave lectures at Boğaziçi University, Bilgi University and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. He wrote articles on the history and criticism of photography for various periodicals such as Geniş Açı and Sanat Dünyamız. His solo and group shows include Leica Gallery (Istanbul, 2017), Galeri Nev İstanbul (Istanbul, 2013, 2010, 2006, 2001, 1990), Saatchi Gallery (London, 2011), Flatland Gallery (Amsterdam, 2009), Apollonia – Echanges Artistiques Européens (Strasbourg, 2009) and Venice Biennale Turkish Pavillion (Venice, 2003). His photographs are included in international collections such as Boghossian Foundation (Belgium), Salsali Private Museum (Dubai), JPMorgan Chase (USA), Fotocollectie Hoboken Erasmus University (Rotterdam), Reflex Miniature Museum of Contemporary Art (Amsterdam).