The thirteen-minute audio narrative Metatext, 2013 is complied by sample sentences found in the Oxford English Dictionary and voiced by a fictitious author, who only writes with this constrained method. The piece concerns the role of language in the act of writing and artistic creation and explores ways of expression without having total freedom. Here the sentences are divorced from their original intent and assembled into a seemingly meaningful account, where the author speaks of her process of writing, her motives and ambitions. Eventually the narrative meanders, loops and turns in on itself.
Algün’s method, grounded in applying rules and constraints to literary production, has been loosely associated with Oulipo – a group of French writers and mathematicians who sought further meaning in literature, by imposing multiple restrictions on the process of writing. By exploring our relationship to language, extracting texts from their original meaning and reinterpreting them, the role of the artist and the notion of authorship are challenged.
Meriç Algün is born 1983 in Istanbul, Turkey and currently lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. The contrasting differences between the make-up of both cities – Istanbul and Stockholm – particularly socially and politically, as well as her movement between the two, play a key role in her practice. Her multifaceted work concentrates on issues of identity, borders, bureaucracy, language and mobility through appropriated and “ready-made” texts, dictionaries and archives. Selected solo exhibition venues include Aarhus Art Museum (2016); Kunstverein Freiburg (2015); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2014); Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin (2014); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2013); Art in General, New York (2013) and Witte de With, Rotterdam (2012). She has participated in group shows such as 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015); 56th Venice Biennale (2015); 12th Cuenca Biennial (2014); 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014) and 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011). She is currently a guest professor of installation and sculpture at the University of Arts, Bremen.