At the centre of Aykan Safoğlu’s work Untitled (Gülşen and Hüseyin) is his uncle – Hüseyin Safoğlu – who came as a guest worker to Germany in 1961, where he would take his own life in 1978. In the video installation, the story of Aykan’s uncle is blended with that of the »worker statue« in Istanbul. This statue was erected in 1973 in front of the German liaison office of the Federal Employment Agency in Istanbul, which was responsible for the recruited guest workers. The statue was later destroyed in anticommunist attacks. In the video Gülşen Aktaş slips into the role of the uncle. By this the trans-generational effects of the guest workers’ isolation are addressed and a queer reading broadens the meaning of the »worker statue«.
Aykan Safoğlu, born 1984 in Istanbul, is based in Berlin. Safoğlus work has been exhibited a. o. in The Jewish Museum, New York (2014), Ashkal Alway, Beirut (2015), Artspace, Auckland (2016) and at the 1. Berliner Herbstsalon. Safoğlu is a board member of the Schwules Museum* in Berlin.