1

OCT

ON MANSPREADING

POSTED IN: '74 GAZETTE

Nine pair of sitting legs with no real physical indicator of a gender, yet anyone looking would recognize them to be of a man… These ceramic legs, sitting on a ceramic bench, are the representatives of its whole and their gender is recognizable due to the way they are positioned. The legs are spread wide apart, in a position that is referred as “manspreading”. This way of sitting is generally attributed to men, as men tend to be found doing it frequently. Cande─čer Furtun, in her unnamed work displayed for the Istanbul Biennial, questions the approach towards public space over the manspreading, that is familiar to anyone who sat next to a man on public transportation or a bench. This form of domination and claiming of the shared place by a neighbour sitting right beside one is worthy of attention. Masculinity is put under the scope in Furtun’s recent work. The artist has lately been working on ceramic limbs; and this work of hers from 1994-96, with ceramic legs in front of a ceramic covered wall -maybe resembling that of a hammam’s- is a part of that course. The artwork can be visited in Istanbul Modern ground floor for the duration of the Istanbul Biennial.