Olgaç Bozalp: Leaving One for Another
Leaving One for Another, by Olgaç Bozalp combines documentary with stylised constructed imagery to explore both the journeys and disparate causes of migration. Drawing on his own experience of migration, Bozalp’s work tells the more universal story of human movement through often playful and absurd images which are heavy with symbolism. In the book, documentary photographs taken on Bozalp’s travels are interspersed and contrasted with staged interventions created in collaboration with art director Raphael Hirsch. Some of the constructed imagery depicts figures in the landscape, all faceless with their identities hidden. Other imagery depicts sculptural installations incorporating significant objects from migrants’ lives and journeys—family photographs, life vests and bags of possessions. The theme of transport runs through the work—precariously loaded motorcycles, rafts, cars—illustrating how lives are physically carried through the passage to a new life.
The documentary element in the project is inspired by Bozalp’s observations, travels and personal stories. He has visited nearly fifty countries, focusing on those with complex histories in the Middle East, Asia and his home country Turkey. The images collectively form a visual essay to represent a universal story of migration whether it be through forced displacement, through conflict or gentrification, or simply the pursuit of new financial opportunities for freedom of expression.
About the Author
Born in Turkey, Olgaç is a multidisciplinary artist based out of London. His mediums of work include photography, film, installations, and art direction.
His upbringing in Konya during his developmental years largely informs his work today, as an exploration of cultural identity has become a recurring theme in his visual language.
Since 2015 Olgaç travelled largely throughout Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa to challenge the hegemonic Western notions of beauty, and personal individuality. He often explores the world of his subjects by frequently shooting in their personal environments. His educational background in Theatre shaped his improvisational staged-documentary approach.
“Olgaç was most recently named as part of Foam’s 2022 Talent; in 2019 he was featured in British Journal of Photography’s “Ones to Watch” photographers, stating “Bozalp has been at the forefront of a movement to diversify visual culture, introducing new ideas about gender, beauty and race.”; and Aperture’s 2017 “Element of Style” issue, that investigates the role of style, dress, and beauty in the formation of individual identity.”
His work was exhibited at National Portrait Gallery, Foam Museum, Aperture Gallery, Sharjah Art Foundation, Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation, Unseen and Odunpazari Modern Museum.
His work has also been published by M Le Monde, T Magazine, Dazed, Atmos and he has worked with brands including Carven, Hugo Boss, Camper, Selfridges, GmbH, Zegna and Alexander McQueen.