October 24, 2014 - Moderna Museet - Moment – Meriç Algün Ringborg
October 24, 2014

Moment – Meriç Algün Ringborg

Meriç Algün Ringborg. Installation view, Moderna Museet.

Moment Meriç Algün Ringborg
Becoming European

18 October 2014–11 January 2015

Moderna Museet 
Exercisplan, Skeppsholmen  
Stockholm 

www.modernamuseet.se

Curator: Fredrik Liew
 
Moderna Museet presents a solo exhibition of the artist Meriç Algün Ringborg. Born in Istanbul in 1983, she graduated from art college in Stockholm in 2012, the same year she became a Swedish citizen. For several years, Algün Ringborg has shared her time between Sweden and Turkey. In 2009–13, she created a body of works that explore the concepts of identity and belonging, directly reflecting her own experience of migrating over cultural, linguistic and bureaucratic borders. This is the first time these works are exhibited together.
 
Algün Ringborg’s works are made of existing documents, texts and facts that are combined with consistent simplicity and focus in such a way that the material she uses confronts itself. One example is The Concise Book of Visa Application Forms (2009), a bound book in which she has compiled visa application forms from all over the world. Questions such as “Are you and your partner in a genuine and stable relationship?” will also meet visitors on billboards placed around the Museum.
 
“The subject of the exhibition is urgent, to say the least. More and more bureaucratic and physical barriers are erected around the world. To control people’s movements have become a way for nations to justify their existence in an increasingly global world. Within nations, nationalism is also on the rise, recently neo-Nazis were allowed to parade in public streets in Sweden, and a nationalist, populist party with roots in the white-supremacy movement was the third-largest party in the recent Swedish parliamentary election,” says Fredrik Liew, curator.
 
In her work Ç (The Unfortunate Letter) (2013), the artist has collected correspondence addressed to her from businesses and government authorities with her name misspelled. Many computers are unable to handle the cedilla in Meriç, so the letter is either left out or replaced with, say, % or & #231. This work is a striking example of the structural and institutional nature of identity and belonging. The bureaucratic systems simply do not acknowledge everyone’s identity, denying them the right to be without adjusting to an obsolete construction (in this case the Swedish alphabet). Symptomatically, the letter ç is excluded even in letters from the Migration Board. The exhibition also features the works Becoming European (2012), Ö (The Mutual Letter) (2011), and Blue River Red Border (2013). In Becoming European, Algün Ringborg has stamped the dates between 2007 and 2012 when she was outside the EU borders in colours representing the status she was attributed by the Migration Board. Blue: tourist; red: temporary resident; purple: pending; black: permanent resident; and green: awaiting citizenship.

 

Moment – Meriç Algün Ringborg at Moderna Museet
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