Alper Yesiltas's profile

12 Years - Story Of An Unknown Window

12 Years: Story Of An Unknown Window

We all desire to know how we are perceived and how we are understood by others. We want to act by fully perceiving the reflection of our existence in others' eyes, and therefore by controlling the impression we have on people we encounter for the very first time. However, very few of us can achieve this as it takes some time.

The first words that come to mind (warm, distant, introverted, extroverted) after meeting new people are not enough to fully define their reflection. Consider the reflection as a painting. Although we look at the final version, in fact, paintings comprise many small and big details. These details are not created at the same time in a minute, they are born in the course of time, they slowly find their places within the big picture, and they eventually are presented to the audience. The first impression that Mona Lisa leaves on us is actually the consequence of a 15-year thinking period.

Let’s say, the painting represents the world we see from our window, and the painter represents the window itself.

As I said before, it is not possible to define the world we see from the window with only a couple of words, as it constantly changes. Moreover, even if you desire looking at the same exact view you saw the first time, you have to wait for some time to capture it again. In this waiting period, you'll see so many views of the world, so to speak, the world shows you all its views just like a painting (Let's remember that Da Vinci also saw the exact same image of Mona Lisa that sparkled in his mind, just after the world rotated around the sun for 15 times).

Accordingly, after experiencing for some time, you will need more profound expressions, like "it is empty, everything is balanced, unjust, etc." to define the world. You will not be content with the simple words like "sunny, windy, hot" any more. People also deserve more profound definitions than we associate them at the first sight.
My name is Alper Yeşiltaş, a 35-year-old lawyer, born and currently living in İstanbul.

I lived in an apartment facing this window for 15 years of my life. I started taking its photos in 2005 and I kept doing this until 2017, when it was knocked down by the owners to build a new one. Therefore, it has gone forever now.

The window was not opening into a room, but into an empty corridor in the building. The lovely curtain on it was making a great contrast with the partially cracked wall. It was standing there with its old frame all year round. It was open most of the time, especially when it was hot outside. It was standing right against my window and I was the only one who could see it from this angle. The inspiration hit me at that exact point. I was the only person in the world who would ever be able to see this beauty from this flawless angle. That is when I decided to take its photos. So, that moment of inspiration was the starting point for the whole story. I was thinking about taking photos in different seasons and put them side by side. At first, I just intended to have a simple album of seasons. However, as the seasons come and go, the window was giving me so many amazing poses that I decided to continue. Finally, it turned out to be a huge album with hundreds of photos.

When I look back, it's really hard for me to remember and write about every single photo, but I remember taking the first photo in September, 2005 and the last one on May 1, 2017. One day I somehow heard the news about its demolition. I saw the moment it was evacuated and I saw the moment the curtain was taken down. On May 1, 2017, I watched the apartment being knocked down. I was lucky to be there and i was ready to watch it. It was so fragile, it was so quick, like never happened. From this perspective, the story might sound sad but actually I did not feel bad because I really like the last photo I took and I'm happy that it ended like this.

In one photo, you see two men, one is falling down, other is standing. People asked me a lot about it. When I took the first photo, I sure didn't know that it would last for 12 years and that one day the owners would knock down the apartment. So, after some time, I thought I had enough photos and decided to end it. I took that photo. Actually, both men in the photo represent me. Man on the left, took a lot of shots of the window, falls down, man on the right, pushes other one to end it.

Some photographs in this series have been featured on the covers of the following works:

"Cin Aynasi" ("Cinema") a novel by Ercan Kesal
"En Tu Vientre" ("In Your Belly") a novel by Jose Luis Peixoto
"Tesaduf" ("Coincidence") an album by Serin Music
"Nella Vita Degli Altri" ("In The Lives Of Others") a novel by Michele Bravi
"잊기 좋은 이름" ("A Good Name To Forget") a prose collection by 김애란 산문 (Kim Ae-Ran)
"Gangrene, Traduit de l'arabe (Syrie) par Marguerite Gavillet Matar" ("Gangrene, Translated from the Arabic (Syria) by Marguerite Gavillet Matar") a playwriting by Wadiaa Ferzly
"Cierzo Lento" ("Slow Wind") an album by Idoipe

Thanks for reading.


You can purchase "12 Years: Story Of An Unknown Window" as NFT now. The sale includes all 70 photos I took of the window. 54 of them are never published.

12 Years - Story Of An Unknown Window


12 Years - Story Of An Unknown Window