Sinan Tuncay

Reserved for the Men I’ve Never Become

5 September – 19 October 2019

Sinan Tuncay’s third solo exhibition “Reserved For the Men I’ve Never Become” brings the artist’s recent photographic self-portrait collages together. Consisting of three different series, the show focuses on the performative aspect of masculinity that serves for social affirmation. The show explores the ideal of the “real man,” defined by toughness, fight and victory only to be limited by the fear of not being accepted by others.

The exhibition opens with the series “Reserved For the Men I’ve Never Become”. Elaborating on male stereotypes in masculine spatial arrangements and social activities, Tuncay embodies the male groups which he has never been a part of. Throughout the project, he pursues how masculinity is built on the approval of other men. In the book and video project “I Can Be Everything You Told Me Not To Be”, the artist reinterprets the paper doll game on his own body. Taking costumes and accessories from popular culture, the work presents an autobiographical take on gender’s patriarchal codes that are stuck between the self and the other. 2-channel video installation contains two ‘ideal’ postures of the artist where all the costumes constantly clash on and constitute eclectic representations on class and gender. On the other side, the book allows the viewer to experience the work through the paper doll. The last series entitled “Go Play in the Back” takes masculinity back home where it all begins. The work presents a selection of damaged car photographs that are taken by the artist over time in Turkey and the U.S. Juxtaposed on carpet floors, these male power symbols become toys in an intimately domestic playground usually associated with femininity. The exhibition ends with the wardrobe installation ‘The Back Room’ which functions as a tool for physical transformation as well as a witness to the fear of alienation.

Circulating among spaces, behaviors and toys that are reserved for the male identity, the show explores the formation of masculinity, whose existence is defined by the potency (and impotency) a man holds over his own body as well as over other men. Projecting public into private, masculinity into femininity, life-scale into miniature; the show examines gender reduced to dualities through the heteronormative image of the “real man.”