Call (2024)
sound installation
on the exhibition promenade (Uçhisar, Cappadocia)

in memory of Fulya Erdemci…

It is October in Frankfurt. Afternoon in the city. A loud noise, as if screaming, is coming from the distance. We look up in amazement every time. Thousands of African geese are in a rush to return at the end of summer…

Every year, millions of birds carry out their seasonal migration through Anatolia in the Africa-Europe or Africa- Asia direction. Nevşehir Gülşehir and Avanos Kızılırmak basin, located on the international bird migration route, are also among the important stopover sites for migratory birds.

When thinking about the theme of Changing Skies, migratory birds that physically experience the changing skies come to our minds. What a vital importance to migrate -to be able to migrate- has on all living beings. Migration means physical displacement, but also includes the journey between life and death. Sometimes relocation could be made following the climate in order to survive, sometimes trying to cross borders for other vital reasons, and sometimes to proliferate transfering your life energy to other living beings. In any case, the concept of migration emerges as an area of great struggle between life and death. For example, migratory birds; to survive first of all, they should be able to continue their way without being targeted by hunters. Then, if they are lucky enough, the wetlands where they stay should not have been dried due to agricultural irrigation or drainage, the pastures should not have been turned into agricultural areas, or the feeding areas invaded by concrete.

Call (2024) will distribute the sounds of migratory birds, which are in danger of extinction on a global scale and pass through Anatolia, along the walking route of the festival area at irregular intervals. The sounds of these birds, each of which will be presented by a single speaker, will be played at irregular and sparse intervals in line with their rarity. While the project leaves the hearing of bird sounds to chance, it underlines “disappearance” by allowing a rumour to arise whether they are heard or not.

Text: Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt

Video documentation: Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Mete Kaan Özdilek

List of Birds:
White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala)
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga)
Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)
Basra Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis)
Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius)
Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)
Mountain chiffchaff (Phylloscopus sindianus)
Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris
Lesser white-fronted goose (Anser erythropus)
Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita)
Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug)
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)

Cappadox 2024
Değişen Gökler / Changing Skies
in memory of Fulya Erdemci
23.05 – 13.06.2024
Uçhisar / Cappadocia
curated by Kevser Güler


Free Solo (2019-2022)
Performance / Installation
118 pieces; acrylic paint on polyurethane, magnesium powder, plywood

Free Solo is a climbing wall project for which the duo creates replicas of the accessible parts of numerous statues and monuments in Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Çanakkale. According to the artists, while monuments bring people together in celebrations and/or protests, many people also tend to climb them during these gatherings, and this desire – the desire to rise beyond physical existence by benefiting from the power of the monument at that time and place – constitutes the starting point of the artwork. (from the press release of Upfalling Ones exhibition)

Installation view; Upfalling Ones exhibition opened on 20.3.2024 at Dirimart, Istanbul

Photos: Nazlı Erdemirel

Neither Up nor Down

Neither Up nor Down (2019-2023)
paint on polyester, 317×417 cm

The project consists of a 1:1 scale model of a cross-section of the staircase that once led to the world’s tallest flagpole on a 3-hectare pedestal-like square in Baku, and takes a humorous look at the race to be the world’s tallest.

From 1982 to 2010, Kaesong, North Korea, held the record for the tallest flagpole at 160 m. Baku, Azerbaijan, took the record in 2010 with a height of 162 m, but lost it less than a year later to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with a 165 m flagpole. In 2014, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, took the record with a 171-meter flagpole, and in September 2021, construction began on a new 191-meter flagpole in Baku to reclaim the world record. While scheduled for completion in 2022, a 202-meter flagpole was erected in Cairo, Egypt, in late 2021. Since then, the construction of the new flagpole in Azerbaijan has not been completed (July 2023).

Stairs, like flagpoles, have the main function of moving (things) up or down. With the flagpole as a representation of power, these stairs create a vertical, almost sacred path to that power. They bring people to the base of the giant flagpole. But the closer you get to the pole, the smaller you become with each step.

“Neither Up nor Down” disrupts the way power is represented through verticality by shifting the perspective to the horizontal. With a 1:1 scale model of the staircase parallel to the ground, this staircase is shown as dysfunctional; one can neither go up nor down, separating it from a path to power.

Photo: 1,2,3,4,7,8, Nazlı Erdemirel

Installation view; Upfalling Ones exhibition opened on 20.3.2024 at Dirimart, Istanbul

National Flag Square, Baku (2022) in a new tab)

Higher than the Ground, Lower than the Sky

Higher than the Ground, Lower than the Sky (2022-2024)
Electrostatics paint on iron
Each; 420 x 45 x 20 cm

Higher than the Ground, Lower than the Sky consists of fixed ascending stairs indicating the pedestal heights of public space sculptures in different cities. Pedestals serve the function of lifting things placed on them, yet in the installation, their heights converge with the bodies of the stairs, the tools of the up-and-down movement. Therefore, the installation both diverts an object with daily use from its function and gives it a new function. The irregularly arranged steps of the stairs draw a portrait of the hierarchal order in the public space, while the possibility of moving the steps when necessary shows that this hierarchy can be reconstructed at any moment. Higher than the Ground, Lower than the Sky also allows it to be read as a measuring object indicating the invisible layers rising from the ground.

Installation view; Upfalling Ones exhibition at Dirimart, istanbul
Photo 2,3,4,6,7: Nazlı Erdemirel

Possibilities for a Sculpture

Possibilities for a Sculpture (I-XVI), 2024
Polyester felt and rubber
Variable dimensions

Possibilities for a Sculpture which focuses on monumental public space sculptures in different geographies, depicting the human figure in various forms. Transforming the sculptures’ poses into written instructions and arranged in the size of the projection of the sculptures’ pedestals, these carpets are placed on the gallery floor, aligning it with the upper points of these pedestals. Each viewer reading the instructions creates a temporary version of these sculptures, while the objects placed on the carpets or the people standing on them turn into temporary new sculptures of these pedestals.

video and cover image: Fuko Creative
Installation photographs: Nazlı Erdemirel

Installation view; Upfalling Ones exhibition at Dirimart, istanbul


Cityscapes (2023- 2024)
6’33” loop

The video work titled Cityscapes allows viewers to observe various places of the city from the perspective of twelve monuments in Istanbul, which are, due to their historical significance and views, photographed or filmed endlessly on any given day. While a stationary camera captures seemingly ordinary angles at first glance, belonging to 12 different ‘heroes’, it allows the viewer to experience the city in almost life-sized dimensions, adding a new perspective to all these images. Cityscapes shares the unique perspective of the monument’s main character, making it accessible to everyone.

Backstage video and cover image: Fuko Creative
Installation photographs: Nazlı Erdemirel

Self-Portrait (flagpole series)

Self-Portrait (Çamlıca) (2024)
Self-Portrait (Jeddah)
Self-Portrait (Baku)

Inkjet print on wall
each; 350 cm high (adaptable dimensions)
Line thickness; 3 mm

Self-portrait series shows the world’s largest flagpoles in life-size dimensions. These self-portraits, folded dozens of times to fit into the exhibition space pictorially, bend the flagpoles in a movement that is the complete opposite of their function, almost bowing them in front of the viewers.

Installation view; Upfalling Ones exhibition at Dirimart, istanbul
Photo: Nazlı Erdemirel


Artist video, featuring Özlem Günyol and Mustafa Kunt as they discuss their creative processes and artistic practices related to their Upfalling Ones exhibition at Dirimart Dolapdere


“Bildik Bilinmeyenler: Özlem Günyol ve Mustafa Kunt”
Duygu Demir moderatörlüğündeki bu konuşmada Özlem Günyol ve Mustafa Kunt sergideki iki iş ve onlarla çeşitli akrabalıkları olan diğer üretimlerinden bahsederken birlikte çalışmak ve varolan formlardan türeyen soyutlama çeşitlerinden de bahsedecekler.

The Picture Before the Picture

The Picture Before the Picture (2019-2023)
Ink-jet print on mesh vinyl 850 × 1191 cm

The Picture Before the Picture refers to colors that appear as placeholders under the ‘Images’ tab of the Google search engine before the final image is fully loaded. The first iteration of this work was based on the searches the duo made using this feature during the European Parliament elections in 2019. The artists kept adding search words suggested by Google to their search tab and applied the resulting colors on the walls of the exhibition space with paint. The colors used in the installation made for the façade of İmalat-hane in Bursa are derived from the results of screenshots of Google searches made between the first and second rounds of the 2023 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Using VPN to perform searches based out of Turkey, the artists selected a certain sequence of suggested search words. These pictures before pictures represent an abstraction of the news items that shape the agenda at a specific time and in a given location. For instance, when the duo entered “Twitter” into Google Images, titles such as “bandwidth throttling,” “access blocking,” and “The Information and Communication Technologies Authority” were suggested by the algorithm, painting a picture of that particular moment through the most frequently used search terms.

The fact that these abstract and angular images, the colors of which are determined by the dominant hues of the partially downloaded pictures reach us before the intended data, reflects our once-removed relationship with data itself. Thus, the viewers find themselves looking at a picture that records the distance between the written content and the image. This digital surface with which we, as web users, are all too familiar points to an image regime that obscures the reality and the influence of web design strategies on users. Sterilizing our interaction with data –ignoring its content, scientific credibility, political bias, or brutality– the colors transform into a spectacle of pacifying abstractions, referring to the increasing data flow, information pollution, fake news, and censorship. Covering the façade of the exhibition space, the installation builds a layer that also becomes a threshold between the inside and outside of the exhibition space. While preventing us from seeing the “big picture,” this picture before the picture also refers to the historical discussions around the relationship between institutional frameworks and art, serving as an interface that casts the shades of its colors on the exhibition.

Text: Duygu Demir

Installation view; IMALAT-HANE, Bursa

Photo: ©IMALAT-HANE, Bursa