Rehabilitation is a reading of social codes, looking at the dichotomy between those at the center and margins of the society. The work was created in 2005, Leidsche Rijn (NL) as a result of the artist’s encounter with a local gang, it proposes an inversion of the social rehabilitation process and suggest how the group creates initiatives for rehabilitating the society through their criticism.
Eight young men belonging to one of these gangs were asked to choose a black leather uniform jacket, as an insignia of their belonging, and to decide on what to inscribe onto the back of those jackets. The chosen slogans were rather shocking for the Dutch community, revealing the level of resentment, depression and frustration of social marginalization, an aggressive rhetoric foreshadowing the upheavals in Paris in November 2005. Two sets of jackets were produced -one set for the boys and another for the exhibition. Only one day after the opening the jackets in the show were stolen. This unexpected occurrence paradoxically helped the project to attract media attention to the problems of the neighborhood.
Besides this series of interactive projects opening symbolic niches of enunciation for marginalized ones, Ersen produced works aiming at transgressing official and bureaucratic procedures of political power.