Miles Ladin's blog

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

introducing the TRAFOLAR series

For over fifteen years, I have made photographs that explore the everyday from a critical standpoint. It is my hope that by holding a mirror up to reality, I can reflect the deeper truths and in my own small way spark greater social awareness.

In June of 2007 I visited Istanbul, Turkey. While exploring the city on foot, I noticed several very small buildings labeled with a skull and crossbones. I discovered that these structures are the transformer stations that distribute the city’s electricity. Called trafolar, these containers are found in parks, on the streets, and along the highways of Istanbul. Usually unadorned, these utility stations are an eyesore on the otherwise exotic and quaint streets of Constantinople, both the European and Asian sides. Due to a recent beautification edict implemented by the Istanbul Municipality, these containers have been decorated with painted murals. Often executed in a trompe l’oeil style, the motifs rendered include the sea, flowers, forests, classical architecture, and boats. The paradise portrayed is in stark contrast to the toxicity of what is held within as well as the surrounding urban environment.


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