Man with headphones in front of a microphone
Film stills of interpreters from the installation "On the Grapevine"

Özlem Günyol

On the Grapevine 2005

Woman with headphones in front of a microphone

The starting point for the installation "On the Grapevine" was an unwieldy scholarly sentence concerning the difficulty of learning a foreign language. This sentence was presented to a series of interpreters, the first of whom translated it into Turkish, the second of whom translated this translation into German, and so on. The translations are presented simultaneously on seven monitors in the exhibition.

"The installation simulates a conference situation - the test persons are concentrated, wear headphones and are seated close to each other. Through them the artist presents a scenario of quick and professional information transmission and the seemingly objectifiable transfer of facts. But impressions deceive. At a second glance, we see that the interpreters are quite unique in terms of their clothes, private settings and, most decidedly, their temperaments and manner. We also see that the results of their activity are extremely varied."  (From the catalogue for the exhibition "How German is it? 30 Artists' Notions of Home")

Özlem Günyol was born in Ankara in 1977 and lives and works in Frankfurt am Main. The artist's website can be visited at