Bizarre or trending subjects? Catch a break with our curiosity of the week. In her series Once I fell in time, May Parlar tries to answer existential questions. Through her surrealist images, the photographer summons dreams and time.

May Parlar created her series Once I fell in time after dreaming she was floating in the air with Time, who was a human being. Here, time is almost tangible, and inhabits all the images. To the Turkish photographer, this time is that of life and death. Through her work, she tried to answer existential questions: “when I started Once I fell in time, I was in the middle of a philosophical crisis. I was obsessed with the notions or time, life and death, and what is between them.”

Starting photography at 18, with an old film camera lent by a friend, the dark room became a refuge. She would spend nights and days experimenting and creating in the laboratory of the university where she started architecture. Immersed in images, they would come to her through contemplation and evolve through intuition. “My pictures are often spontaneous. I rarely plan my photoshoots. The images come to me, inspired by a landscape or an object I observe.”

Like a paintbrush

In her ghostly images, the spectre of human presence can be felt. To produce her photos, she uses performance and installations. Through a game of multiple exposure, she produces compositions reminding the viewer of surrealist painters, such as Magritte. A reference the photographer interprets in her own way: “People often compare my work to Magritte’s. I understand, although I don’t consider myself a surrealist artist (as we are in 2019, it would be anachronistic). I see surrealism as a mode of existence, a way to belong in an artistic style.” The parallel between her creations and painting, however, is important. She confesses so herself: “I use my camera like a paintbrush, as long as I have it with me, I do not know much more to create”. A poetic way to paint by sunlight.

© May Parlar