Centennial Square Billboard
Demagogues: 6 by Erdem Taşdelen is a site-specific photographic print located at Centennial Square in Oakville. Displayed in the public square, Demagogues: 6 asks viewers to interrogate beliefs held about the image and to consider the effect of deception and the possibility of locating common truths.
As a series, Demagogues questions the authenticity of what is visible in the public realm. Each iteration of the work, whether a billboard or a framed print, is a photograph of the very site it is displayed in and features the following sentence translated into the local language: If a man tells me something I believe to be an untruth, am I forbidden to do more than congratulate him on the brilliance of his lying? Taken at face value, the image seems to document the presence of this text at the site at some earlier point in time. But in fact what's displayed is fake, as the text has been inserted into the photograph via digital manipulation.
The work is a prelude to Oakville Galleries' fall exhibition Two Truths and a Lie, which opens at both gallery locations at Gairloch Gardens and Centennial Square on 18 September 2021.