On Ali Borovali's photography

When I looked at the photographs of Ali Borovalı, I was impressed by the great match between the artist's intentions and the final result. As if the pictures are waiting somewhere and the only thing the photographer has to do is simply go there and immortalize them. This reminded me of what the great poet Seferis had written, that the poems are clear, concrete, definite inside ourselves and they are just there waiting to be written. And exactly at this point is found the importance of the artist. Borovalı shows, by a single click of his camera, the exceptional talent to consummate the essence of photography. From the very first moment, he gives the right to the viewer to do an easy first reading of his photos. He offers, in a golden plate, that shining glare of clarity which makes the relationship between the audience and the photos much more fascinating. The viewer gets a sudden feeling that he himself could take a similar photograph, but what a disillusion! Of course, there is nothing easy for you. You are soon left with an urge to go back to that same photograph that you just looked at. This is where the real task just begins, that of reading between the lines, that of going behind the scenes to find their true meaning, or as Borovalı himself would want you to do, to search... for your own exit.

The multitude of arrays that constitute Borovalı’s playground, from nature to local culture, color to black & white, photo essay to documentary narrative, they all converge under that same signature. Quietness surrounds his subjects even in the most crowded of his photographs. Solitude, that dilemma of man, is at the same time the solitude of the viewer. All is done simply and quietly. As a photographer, Borovalı will put his words into images, while as an author, he will not say a word more than he needs in order to consummate the essence of his subjects. Not a loud voice, not a long speech. Just enough words to make his sentence, this constitutes the backbone of Ali Borovalı’s photography.

Umberto Eco once said that great writers give their readers the impression that they could have written the text they are reading. And that I believe is also what exactly characterises a great photographer.

Vasilis Pappas

Poet and Art Critic

Edessa, Greece, 2/6/2001