In her fourth solo exhibition to be held between February 28 – March 31, 2019 at SANATORIUM, Zeyno Pekünlü focuses on her “work”. Simultaneously dealing with the contemporary conditions of the artwork’s production and the very experience of working, the artist points to the ambiguity and permeability of the work’s boundaries. She borrows from the frame of Youtubers, on which she has focused her attention in recent works, and turns the camera at herself this time. At a time when the collection of personal data has become a source of concern and worries have arisen concerning the fact that the technology at our disposal might actually be our enemy, she invites us to watch all her activity in front of the computer. She challenges the polished “real life” narratives of YouTubers with a claim of an “authentic” real life narrative.
The nine-hour video that the artist has edited to represent an ordinary working day after having recorded her every working moment in front of the computer exposes the ordinariness of daily work and production process: emails one after the other; Whatsapp messages used as a tool of socializing and to speed up the paid job as well as for the organization of housework going on behind closed doors; following the agenda and having small breaks or surfing on social media platforms in order to secretly watch people; all of these intermingle with the “Work” itself.
And from the cavity just behind the “Work”, there winks at us the “Worn Part”, the collage consisting of the traces of deformity on old films. These traces that our eyes perceive as technical errors are actually the records of films being worn down due to the frequency of screening and circulation. Although the collage at first sight is reminiscent of exhaustion due to overwork when considered together with the “Work” that it leans on, it cares for the traces that the film has collected through its contact with the places, roads, objects, machines and people during its collective production and viewing. It reveals the value of the watching or use of each work appearing as singular.