Anna Artaker, Turkish Jokes, 2009
Anna Artaker does not engage with a single work but with a more general aspect of public art, one which is also pursued as a line of thought in the exhibition To Be Continued: Many people only know certain artworks in public space from books or people's accounts of them — whether because they were only briefly on show, or because they do not tour museums like some works do but are tied to what are sometimes remote locations.
Anna Artaker describes Jens Haanings work Turkish Jokes, completed in 1994, along with her reception of it on sheets of A1 paper. On one side of the sheet of paper is a text written in her own words in German, on the reverse is the Turkish translation. Artaker had heard the jokes told in Turkish, played in public space via Tannoy at the documenta in 2002, but only understood it later in conversation with others as an artistic intervention. In describing Haaning's work Artaker transfers it from the urban space where it originally happened into a linguistic arena (concretely, that of the printed word). The allusion to the significance of language and communication for creating public awareness beyond the architectural space is the core aspect of her work, and equally important to the exhibition as a whole. In formal terms — the sheets were stacked to form rectangular objects in the space, and could be taken by visitors — Artaker deliberately uses the "stacks" employed by Felix Gonzales Torres, whose works are also often about the area of tension between the private and the public.


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