Esra Ersen Perfect 2006 one

Esra Ersen
Perfect 2006
DVD and mixed media installation
Dimensions variable
Photo © Tate 2006
Courtesy of the artist
Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial International 06
With thanks to Metal and Eleanor Rees

Esra Ersen’s work addresses social identity and behaviour, examining how they are formed and reformed within different social structures. Confronting these issues politically, the artist formalises her investigations by engaging intimately with specific locations.

Ersen has been struck by the radical transformation currently taking place in Liverpool and the impact upon its inhabitants. Regeneration promises a new identity for the city in the run-up to being European Capital of Culture. Perfect is a critical examination of the universal process of regeneration, where change is typically not organic but grows out of decisions made by governing bodies rather than local residents. Acting as a kind of urban planner, transferring her methods from city to person, Ersen has performed a makeover on a long standing resident of Liverpool. Transforming her, Ersen provokes questions about the changing city as a whole. The work reveals the contradictions inherent within visual regeneration and becomes a metaphor for its processes. Just as with a makeover, it is only the façade of a city that is transformed: the internal structures remain the same.