#443 99 Paper Cups
64x84 cm | Filler, oak panel
The composition in the 99 Paper Cups works uses the three possible ways to divide the numbers 99 - 1/99, 3/33 and 9/11. This is the first one.
The works were made during my residency in Istanbul in 2022, organised by Blue Rhino Art Consultancy and curator Tima Jam. They were exhibited in the Akaratler building in a group exhibition titled Don't Bite Me, together with 22 other international artists. Read more about the residency in my Artlog.
Paper CupsPaper Cups is a series of paintings with imprints from regular paper cups. The kind you get from fast food places and the type often used by people begging in the streets. The series takes its starting point in economic resources and begging as a subversive act in a system of capitalism and neoliberal policies.
It is also about the priority of material conditions in a broader sense, as in historical materialism, and about in gaining agency for demands as a group. For a movement, a protest or an insurrection to become a subject, an agent with the power to act, it needs to ground its ideas in practical solutions, in a psychoanalytical sense, to move from the Imaginary to the Symbolic. This entails touching base with the void of the material Real, where the pureness of the intent - the initial message, always will get somewhat polluted and distorted.
I frequently use the number 99 when producing my works. 99 is referencing the famous slogan of the Occupy movement - "We are the 99%". I interpret it as a unity of interest more than wealth. The large majority are united through their relation to labour, or employment, as opposed to the minority owners of capital - the employers. We should use this common ground instead of being divided by our different occupations and tasks within the capitalist system.
It is vital to notice that 99% means most, but not all. We are united not by universality but through the struggle for a common goal or against a common opponent.
99% can also represent the fact that universality is an abstract concept. There is never a complete answer; there is always a rest that will remain unknown. In real life, any happiness always contains a stain of sorrow, any victory a shadow of defeat.
Res Ipsa is a compilation of works made by an act shaping the filler once it is prepared inside the frame. The works thus function as a recording device and give a statement of the event taking place while the filler was still wet.
Res Ipsa is Latin for "the thing itself" and is part of the juridical term "Res ipsa loquitur" (the thing speaks for itself), used when an injury or accident in itself clearly shows who is responsible, such as an instrument left inside a body after surgery.