Male Subject & Female Subject

Male Subject & Female Subject, 2011

Acryl paint on wood, 80*124 cm; framed document,
13 pieces, each 22*28 cm; wood pedestal, 15*25*300 cm;
video, 85 min.

“If you see something, say something” (The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Security Awareness Campaign) is a phrase that indicates every individual has responsibility over his/her surrounding, should be vigilant and report suspicious activities. As every individual observes his/her surroundings, essentially the observer becomes the object of the surveillance. This provides an indirect message to every individual to control their actions or activity. The individual is under surveillance, not just by law enforcement, but also through the public itself.

For the work “Male Subject & Female Subject”, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt asked Residency Unlimited to establish a contact with a private detective from ICORP Investigations to follow and investigate the artists for a one-day period. The detective was asked to conduct the surveillance for 1 day (out of 3 days suggested by the artists). Thus, the artists didn’t know which day they were being followed. The only instruction given to the detective was to make a detailed report of their activities. In this way, a regular day of Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt was translated into a report by a private detective and thereby transformed a regular day into a suspicious situation.

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