Male Subject & Female Subject, 2011

acrylic paint on wood 80×124 cm;

framed document, 13 pieces, each 22×28 cm;
wood pedestal 15x25x300 cm;
video, 85’

“If you see something, say something” used at the The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Security Awareness Campaign is a phrase that indicates that every individual is responsible for his/her surrounding, and that they should be vigilant and report suspicious activities. As every individual observes his/her surrounding, the observer becomes the object of the surveillance. This provides an indirect message to every individual to control their actions. The individual is under surveillance, not just by law enforcement, but also through the public itself. For the work the artists 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 one day (out of three 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 the artists was translated into a report by a private detective and thereby transformed a regular day into a suspicious situation.

Installation view; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
photos 1,2: Günyol & Kunt
3,4: WALK!, exhibition view, © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 2022, photo: Marc Krause