The Portrait

The Portrait, 2015

Fine art print on hahnemühle photo rag ultra smooth 305 g/m²
120*144 cm

Günyol and Kunt address the inequality in the distribution of wealth as emphasized with the slogan “we are the 99 percent” by looking at the other side of the equation. The Portrait (2015) is a piece that brings together in a photographic print the wealthiest 100 people listed in Forbes magazine’s World’s Billionaires list for 2015. The portrait, a composite image made by printing of 100 photographs on top of each other, presents an anonymous character, representing these people in a manner similar to the anonymity of protestors. In this image no individual can be distinguished in the overlapped photographs; ghost images of all those people blend into a single image, as if it is an identikit. The dimensions of the photograph are proportioned to the format of biometrical portrait photographs common for passports and visa applications. As such, the work imitates an official visual aesthetics and visualizes the way in which these hundred people lose their individuality and become a statistical figure. In that way it also connects wealth, financial markets and the functioning of the capitalist order to the off icial ideology of states. One can see a human f igure on this photograph only looking from a certain distance, which evokes the distance between the characters that make the portrait and the rest of people representing the 99 percent. The fact that the list includes billionaires from all around the world underlines the global dimension of this distance. Rana Öztürk

Images ©Işık Kaya

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