Cengiz Çekil is one of the pioneers of contemporary art in Turkey. He became acquainted with conceptual art when he went to Paris on a state scholarship in the early 1970s. Having gone beyond conventional materials, he continued to produce works with everyday objects and found items, incorporating the concept of time and its social and political dimensions into his work until his passing in 2015.

In his series titled "Unwritten", Çekil covered the texts on the front pages of the newspaper "Günaydın" with masking tape, so that only the pictures remained visible. One of the most widely printed newspapers of the period, "Günaydın"s graphic layout stood out as heavily relying on profuse, wide-scaled images. The simple act of covering stresses the reliance on visuals of the newspaper, which Çekil described as a “cultural object of consumption”, and articulates a criticism of the social realist, figurative paintings produced at the time. "Unwritten" emphasizes the pointlessness of creating new images in a society in which visuals are produced and reproduced in higher numbers and thus lose their meaning with each passing day. It takes a powerful stand against the society of the spectacle which brings together heaps of images on a single plane without any regard for their specific content or significance. The covering of the writings also calls censorship practices to mind, at the same time allowing the viewers to make up their own stories, free of any written impositions.


  • Title: Unwritten
  • Creator: Cengiz Çekil
  • Date Created: 1975-1977
  • Physical Dimensions: 72.5 x 58.5 cm (framed)
  • Rights: Arter Photo: Hadiye Cangökçe
  • Medium: Newspaper and packaging tape

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