Gülsün Karamustafa, Monument for the 21st Century, 2016/2023 (AR version)

Presented by BüroSarıgedik


About the work

Gülsün Karamustafa’s colossal sculpture Monument for the 21st Century (presented as an augmented reality artwork, which visitors can view using their mobile phones) exposes the constant abuse of the right to freedom of opinion and expression by authorities around the globe.

In this work, in which Karamustafa has been led by the material itself, her densely woven and materially diverse artistic oeuvre that spans more than five decades emerges through the timeless relevance of her practice in presenting political abuse and oppression. 

Commissioned by Hamburger Bahnhof for her first solo exhibition in Berlin entitled Chronographia, the sculpture was created as a reaction to the fascist aesthetics embedded in the figures of cut-outs from an early 20th-century schoolbook found by the artist. Situating these groups of seemingly identical and genderless figures on top of each other in a hierarchical manner, the artist inflicts a strange chaos that might appear ordered at first glance. Viewed up close, red markings capture the attention of the viewer. As a final touch that identifies the figures of this sculpture as the subjects of abuse, Karamustafa carries the red stripes on the belts of the figures to their mouths. 

For its display at Frieze Sculpture, the AP edition of the sculpture is showcased on a high red plinth echoing the restrictive markings on the figures. Used as a double signifier in this setting, the colour red denotes the restrictive sanctions as well as the symbolic means of exposure of the unrevealed utterances that elevate this pyramid of bodies high above the eye level. Reiterating the undiscriminating nature and recurring history related to the abuse of freedom of expression, Karamustafa’s Monument for the 21st Century stages a setting where the stacked piles of the silenced victims bear witness to this catastrophe in their own glorified and commemorative physicality. 

Please note: This artwork can be accessed via AR for the duration of Frieze Sculpture.

About the artist

The oeuvre of Gülsün Karamustafa (b. 1946, Ankara) consists of increasingly emergent issues such as immigration, feminism, gender roles, history of imperialism and colonization since the early 1970s. Her works have been included in the permanent collections of Tate Modern, London; Guggenheim, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Mumok, Vienna; Istanbul Modern Art Museum and Arter, Istanbul as well as notable private collections. Represented by BüroSargedik, the artist has had solo exhibitions in Europe and North America, as well as participating in numerous international biennials including Istanbul, São Paulo, Gwangju, Kyiv and Seville. One of the leading contemporary artists in Turkey, through her works Karamustafa has inspired new generation of artists in producing socio-politically charged artworks since the early 2000s. The artist’s commitment to ongoing global political discourses has earned her many accolades, most recently the Roswitha Haftmann Prize in 2021.

For more information, please visit the gallery website: BüroSarıgedik

explore frieze sculpture


Early bird tickets to the fairs are now sold out. Limited full-price tickets have just been released. Don't miss out, book yours now.