The „Great Bazaar“ in Istanbul
is said to be the the third largest traditional treading post for gold worldwide. For more than 6 centuries, it has been the place where the country’s price of gold is determined. Every day, the same 25 tradesman bargain for the best deal in one of the vast Bazaar’s narrow streets. Their keen shouting and arguing can be heared from afar.
In his current exhibition gold, Emanuel Mathias shows us a series of 33 photographies which possesses more than only documentary qualities. During a six month work stay in Istanbul, Emanuel Mathias captured the tradesman with his camera while they were at work. The fascinating snapshots show us that the events are by far not as chaotic as they appear, but follow a certain ritual codex. Thus, one may recognize that the merchants use a set of traditional gestures to communicate with each other. Their striking facial expressions represent a further psychological dimension, as they alternate between moments of absolute tension and full exhaustion. In it’s sequential arrangement, the pictures of the traders create some kind of storyboard, which makes them protagonists of a ficticious plot. Accordingly arises the question, how and why a recipient automatically creates a narrative context between individual images.