5. STATEMENT

Füsun Ipek

Stonewall

 

Auf der obersten goldenen Wand wird eine Wandcollage von Füsun Ipek installiert. Seid 2105 arbeitet die Künstlerin mit Photographien von Miklós Klaus Rózsa, welcher ab den 70er Jahren als fotografischer Dokumentarist und politischer Aktivist auf den Strassen Zürichs unterwegs war.

 

Memories Embedded in Gold
What is left after you make a hole in a whole with a clean crisp cut? What becomes of the cut-out and of the framed space left behind: is one lost without the other, or do they become themselves—by themselves, and for themselves? Then, when you find yourself looking either at the negative of the image or the positive, it will have obtained a different value. Perhaps one is lighter and one is darker, slightly blurred or focused. Perhaps one is gone. We wish to remember certain things as they were, force them to stay, although they do not seem to care about individual needs of a memory. No, they aim higher, wanting to create history passed on in collective awareness.
Füsun Ipek’s work Stonewall is a photographic memento created specifically for these walls, these golden walls with their static energy. As you walk up the staircase, the room feels brighter than you thought it would be, reflecting the sunlight more intensely and intensified by the dust flickering in the air. A large black-and-white photograph has merged into the villa’s being in a paraphrase of traditional mural paintings. The oversized, nearly four meters high image takes on the structure of the wall with a mischievous hint to its street-art history soaked in with the wallpaper glue. Photography here is honoured both as object and subject. As object it values its double materiality (I, the photo, and We, the wall and I). The subject once carried a different name—what could it have been called?—and it was captured by Swiss photographer Miklós Klaus Rózsa on the first day of the very first Zurich Pride Festival in 1994. The sharp-cut lines of the paper follow the smooth edges of the figures, these men soft and fragile in their feminine cover. Five bodies posing in defiance of their roles, time and context, positioned here to make us consider how things have changed in the past quarter of a century, and how is it to be a male, a female responding in this game. The work’s aim is to subtly convey rebellion, novelty, an alternative, a presence that might not have been welcome here; despite this, the golden mural setting evokes a sense of formality. I guess it is in the nature of gold.
Golden tones appear in Ipek’s work frequently, if in different shades and different contexts. What is this fascination with gold that we humans have? Gold glitters and can be flicked on the tongue easily with a soft click. The golden rush, rushing to the head. We like gold, because gold is nice, gold is feminine, gold is easy and oh-so-attractive. It gives us a feeling of heightened value—of the item, of ourselves. Ipek’s gold is not the same, it works rather as a reference to the unequal distribution of power. If you paint an old object gold, has it become golden? Has its inner self changed into something much more precious? Or is it pretending; aren’t we all, after all? I guess, in a way, it comes back to the memory. We say: back in the golden days, things were better. We look over our shoulders; the past is always more tangible than the present, and easier to grasp than our own presence that so easily slips away.
Photography is a strange medium. It shows, it hints, it is a stillborn child of reality destined to not step beyond its origins. On their own, photographs are embedded in a slow-motioned era in which they had been captured. Work with them, though, challenge them—and yes, then they can obtain a new, different purpose, albeit they will never lose their memory. But you would not want that, really: it is this multiple-layered existence, which may or may not gradually peel off, that captures an essence of the past.


Alice Maselnikova
Basel/Stockholm, 2017

 

Weitere Informationen: cargocollective.com/fusunipek

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