Attila Ataner is a Toronto based Canadian photographer with a Turkish-Bulgarian background. He was born in Svishtov, a small town on the Danube river. During the 80s, his family lived in Tripoli, Libya.
He learned about photography for the first time while attending an international school, the “Oil Companies School,” for the children of ex-pat workers.
Ataner is a graduate of McGill University (BA), McMaster University (MA), and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (JD). He is a recipient of multiple prestigious scholarships and grants, as well as a published author in various academic journals.
He practiced law for a number of years, but due to health difficulties was unable to continue.
In addition to his photography practice, he is a part-time Ph.D. student at the University of Western Ontario; his studies focus on environmental philosophy as well as the work of early-modern German philosophers, namely Kant and Hegel.
Attila Ataner photography translates some of his academic work on environmental philosophy into visual-photographic form, in effort to express his core ideas through art rather than scholarship alone. This form of urban-architectural photography is the artist’s attempt to build a personal visual record of the so-called “Anthropocene”. He urges the viewer to reflect on the contemporary experience of living in extensively built-up, “artificial” spaces. Ataner presents these photographs in hope that the viewer will feel compelled to consider the uncanny aspects of our modern, dwelling spaces, especially the urban ones and the buildings that surround us: namely, that they are staggeringly beautiful and yet, at the same time, brutal and oppressive.