Born in Turkey in 1970, studied art at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. She lives and works in Istanbul, where she runs the non-commercial project space BAS, which collects and publishes artists’ books. Cennetoğlu’s works deal with the written word and how values and ideologies are passed on by means of its symbolism and sign-like character. The artist therefore occupies herself intensively with the format of books and archives and how they gather, store, and disseminate knowledge.



“Being safe is scary” is the sentence sprayed on the façade of the Polytechnico in Athens that Banu Cennetoğlu photographed. For her documenta 14 project in Kassel, she wanted to affix this lettering to the façade of the Fridericianum Museum and therefore rearranged the existing metal letters on the portico and had the missing ones cast. In April 2017, the original letters, which have hung on the museum portico since the nineteen-eighties, arrived at the Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen, where their design and patina could be examined. The simply made letters of aluminum and oxidized gold paint were not supposed to be imitated, but instead produced in brass sand casting, which resembles the color of the existing letters, but was supposed to have its own solidity and permanence. The missing letters were created based on the model of the old typography, vectorized, and milled in wood. For the brass casting, the wooden letters were molded in sand and cast. The formally similar appearance to the old letters was achieved through patinating the brass surfaces of the new castings in part with hydrochloric acid. To achieve viewing conditions that were as similar to their intended destination as possible, the letters were installed on the roof of the Kesselhaus in the Sitter Valley. The lettering with the new and old letters could therefore be assessed from a great distance and immediately adjusted. All the letters were then sent to Kassel, where the new lettering, BEINGSAFEISSCARY, was installed on the portico of the Fridericianum, where it can be seen until the middle of September 2017.