SONDER, n. This artist book, Sonder, further sheds light on the gaps of memory, revealed through the medium of photography. It is an assemblage of still images extracted from 8 and super 8 mm films from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s from Turkey, Germany, Austria, USA, Italy, Israel and the UK. The artist extracted Images from home videos, hence removing them from their sequence and isolating them from their original context. He further manipulated them by cropping them, treating them as still images whose composition is arranged. It is a study of medium, a revealing of the essence of the moving image as an assemblage of still images, as Kızıltunç returned the videos to their origin of a still images. Instead of a sequence of time, Sonder offers a sequence of types of memories. Rather than sorting the materials according to time and place, Kızıltunç categorized the images according to their visual types. All happy families are alike, both in different countries and continents. This approach is reflected in the name of the book, Sonder, a word invented by John Koenig for his The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a dictionary of invented words which defines emotions that don’t have the words to express them: n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
And indeed, passersby get as much attention in Sonder as the original objects of the films: the back part of Sonder is dedicated to still-images extracted from the film of people that were not intended to be filmed, but were accidently captured by the camera as they moved by. Kızıltunç's approach is humanistic, as his work aspires to see every human as a unique and fascinating phenomenon worthy of attention and appreciation, a human who is interconnected to all other humans on the basis of their common humanity.