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1981, Diyarbakır. Lives in İstanbul.

In Somebody Else’s Car Öğüt transforms two found cars using readymade paper cut outs. Without requesting the owners’ permission he clads the first all in yellow and with the final addition of a boxed sign on the roof, the car adopts its new identity as a standard İstanbul taxi. On the flanks of the second car he applies graphics and on the roof a blue, white and red emergency siren and again, with remarkable dexterity and finesse, the originally plain white car is transformed into a police car.
Öğüt accomplishes each makeover as if performing an act of vandalism and yet his actions result in no more damage than the owners’ confusion and likely amazement on returning to their vehicles. Öğüt’s police car in particular references the subject of a previous video work titled What a Lovely Day, in which he acts out a scenario where the police stop and search a young man. The secret police, such as the ones portrayed in this video, exist in Öğüt’s memory as a catalyst for assumed guilt and the fear of potential violence.
His video is as much a re-enactment of scenes he has heard about, as it is a performance of his mind racing forward to conjure a future situation on seeing the tell-tale white car, well known to contain such police in Eastern Turkey. In a similar way, his playful paper transformations subtly recall memories of a harsh political reality in the most humorous and whimsical of ways, as the white car adapted in Somebody Else’s Car becomes the police car he has always suspected it to be.

November Paynter


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