Selçuk Mutlu

Coin Punitif (Childhood memory)

Coin Punitif, a concrete artwork by Selçuk Mutlu was acquired by the museum after being on long term loan to the museum park after the Nieuwe Monumenten exhibition (2010). ‘All those who wish to can use my work to consider the process of punishing somebody, of dominating them, not just physically but also psychologically.’

With this consideration of the concept of willing submission, Selçuk Mutlu has not created a ‘monument’ to commemorate an act of heroism or a major historic event, but rather a sculpture that confronts us with our most servile actions. He illustrates punishment as a sign of domination and authority. Punishment as an initial sanction for a lack of obedience. Everyone is invited to experience a collective sensation, a cathartic group performance.

In terms of content, the work is a social criticism. After all, the act of punishing a person is always a form of domination. The artist refers to a variety of dominating relationships that exist between people such as the relationship between parents and children and relationships between adults, for example between men and women. People in superior positions try to dominate those beneath them. In terms of form, the installation consists of two concrete walls, one 7 metres long and one 8 metres long, both two and a half metres high and meeting at an acute 40° angle. The work invites us to participate in it and to confront ourselves with our memories of vulnerability and fear, making it a monument against inequality between people, against the balances of power that determine people’s relationships with each other. In the setting of this idyllic museum, the artwork acts as a confrontation between the artist and the people walking about.

Selçuk Mutlu (b. 1975) is of Turkish origin. He lives and works in Liege.