HEM iLERi HEM GERi, 2017

video installation | movie, screen, five chairs

“Hem İleri Hem Geri”, meaning “back and forth at the same time” in Turkish, is a time and site-specific work that starts from a random video that the artist recorded on the morning of January 1st, 2014 from a back seat of a taxi between Taksim and Maçka, on the way back home from a New Year's Eve party. The second video is a re-enactment of the first video which is recorded on the morning of January 1st, 2017. 

The time period between these two videos is the focal point of the work; what has changed between me and the city, what has changed in the city, what has changed in the life of the inhabitants of the city and also what has remained the same.
— Cansu Ergün


The route connects Taksim to Şişli and Beşiktaş, passing ‘Taksim square’, ‘Gezi Park’, the Maçka neighborhood with the view of the ‘Hilton Hotel’ that is the first modern hotel in Europe built from the ground up in the aftermath of World War II, the most central areas of the city where millions of people work and live. These areas contain most of the cultural, educational and artistic institutes of Istanbul. It has the highest intellectual capacity of the city, therefore the country. In addition to this, areas described above have the largest non-muslim population since the Ottoman times. Thus, they have always been the center of politic events, culture, trade, tourism, creativity…

In the video, all these layers of the city become visible in a personal perspective and it investigates how the political changes affected the city and its inhabitants through 3 years of time. What stayed the same, disappeared, replaced by its elements as well its people and their actions. It asks the questions about leaving and staying or if they are any different from each other.

False Horse, 2016

resin, paper, metal, soil


“False horse” comes from the term of a camouflage method that was used by French soldiers during World War I against Germany.  As the story goes, during the war which went on for years the terrain between two sides, so-called no man’s land, came to resemble a barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland. The challenge was to sneak out as close as possible to the enemy’s side to observe, spy or place a sniper without being seen while everything around them was obliterated until the entire landscape was just a flat expanse of charred dirt and corpses. The French soldiers had an idea to disguise themselves as a dead thing. So they built hollow papier-mache replica of the dead horse that was shot a few days before on the terrain between two sides.

Even though it is inspired by a happening at war, my personal approach to this work is more connected with the feeling of hiding, not being seen. It is made out my visa documents that have been asked by the Austrian authorities during my resident permit application. It contains all the personal information about me such as; birth certificate, criminal records, bank accounts both mine and my parents, proof of all the property that is owned by my parents, old visas, insurance, old passports, school diplomas and so on. On the one hand they might seem like the things that represent, define me but on the other hand, they do not actually contain any real, sincere information about who I really am, my personality. They are only the things that I used to disguise my real self under as I move around bureaucracy. It is a shell that is shiny and polished with bank accounts, diplomas – proof of all the things that make me valuable to enter this country. As I am using it as a shelter which I don’t intend to stay for long, it would protect and finally get me in. Since the process of the resident permit takes up to 6 months, this situation left me with no particular home for more than a year. Constant moving between cities and not knowing how things would work out made me feel very out in the open with no protection and certainty. This documents in a way would be the only things that I could count on to take me to the next home.

The materials also led the way during the process. As I chose resin to build the papers together, it also gave a transparent, sticky, polished look. On the way, the stickiness of the resin made the soil mix with the papers as I worked outside in the garden. So all together it also becomes a part of the actual landscape between the real borders which can be placed in the middle of the no man’s land with its dirty, polished and unstable look during the current situation of the border crisis. As much as it looks like the structure is holding itself, it is maintained by the skeleton-like metal wraps in the hollow inside since the paper makes the whole structure very unstable almost it could be destroyed with a little force.
— Cansu Ergün

Touch the Box, 2018

iPhone X, emoticon pictograms


The interactive performance "Touch the Box" is derived from the TV game shows "Touch the Truck or Touch Me", popular in the early 1990s, especially in Turkey. Those participants who managed to touch the object of desire, such as a car, for the longest time - which could go on for days - would be the winner and take the touched object as a price home.

In the transformation of this principle, the ART CELL (an old phonebox covered with the form of hands) is the setting for a public show in which the issued iPhone X, 64 GB – currently the most powerful mobile phone in the world – becomes the contested object, which has long since become a social fetish and is now the focus of the installation. Who manages to touch the box - the showcase of the iPhone X - the longest will win the coveted cell phone!

Sponsored by Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH | In coorperation with TransArts class/Roman Pfeffer, University of Applied Arts Vienna/KUNSTZELLE/Christine Baumann

About Cansu Ergün




Born in 1989, Eskisehir/Turkey





Since 2016       University of Applied Arts in Vienna

2008–2016       Istanbul Technical University


JAN 2018         F5
                       An exhibiton of Mehrdiziplinares projekt: Grafik Design and                                      Fotografie 5 class, SHIZZLE CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER,                                      VIENNA

                       An exhibiton of the University of Applied Arts Vienna in                                           cooperaton with CERN, DAS WEISSE HAUS, VIENNA

FEB 2017          A(FA) LAGOS LEGACY
                       An exhibiton within the context of A(FA) Lab workshop



FEB 2017          A(FA) LAB
                       Applied Foreign Affairs Lab, Arch. Faculty of Universtity of Applied                          Arts Vienna

                       Architectural wood workshop

MAY 2015        CHINA INTERNATIONAL GARDEN EXPO STUDENT COMPETITION                              Workshop at Huazhong University of Science and Technology

                       Experimen`ng landscape through video and sound

JUN 2010         1st YEAR DESIGN CHARETTE “COVERING THE ISLAND”, 1st PLACE                            ISTANBUL/TURKEY

HELLO, I AM ... Cansu Ergün


Cansu Ergün was born in 1989 in Eskesehir, Turkey. She studied Landscape Architecture from 2008 until 2016 in Istanbul. 2016 she moved to Vienna, where she is studying Site Specific Arts at the University of Applied Arts. She was selected to take part in an applied forein affairs lab of her university that brought her to Lagos, Nigeria and took part in workshops in Hungary and China.



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False Horse

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Touch the Box

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About Cansu Ergün