Standing Man/Centers, 2-channel video installation, (loop), 2022

Material: Two photos of the Standing Man Erdem Gündüz (EPA/Vassil Donev and Erdem/Depo Photos/; Courtesy of dpa) who stood still for eight hours in Taksim Square Istanbul on 17 June 2013 during the Gezi Park protests. Filmed from the computer screen with a hand-held mobile phone camera; background sounds taken from amateur recordings of Gündüz’ protest/performance in Istanbul and the soundtrack of American performance artist Vito Acconci’s 1971 video work “Centers”, in which Acconci tries to hold his index finger steady on the camera lens for 23 mins.

To stand is to rise to an upright position on the feet, to maintain such a position. Something that stands comes to a stop, it becomes or remains motionless. To stand means two contradictory things at once: to resist, to stand against, to withstand – and to put up with, to bear something patiently. As a noun, stand is an act of standing, but also a cessation of activity, a standstill, or a halt. To make a stand is to resist, or to defend oneself. To take a stand is to uphold one’s opinion, to make a strong case for it. Physiologically, standing still consists in the complex balancing of a multiplicity of micro-movements requiring the activation of the visual, vestibular, and somatosensory sense systems.