Excavate and be Damned?

Excavate and be Damned?
by Banu Cennetoglu and Philippine Hoegen

Installation with audio peice on speakers, video loop on monitor and printed item.

This project has as its starting point, a work by Masist Gül (1947 - 2003). Gül was a multi-faceted artist of Armenian origin, who was born and lived in Istanbul. As an actor he had small parts in more than 300 films. To our knowledge, he made collages, drawings, and copper gravures, wrote poetry, painted portraits and drew graphic novels. None of this work was published or exhibited during his life. In 2006 Bent published as facsimiles, a series of six of his books, entitled "Kaldırım Destanı – Kaldırımlar Kurdunun Hayatı" (Pavement Myth – The Life of the Pavement's Wolf).

The work in question is an unpublished (graphic) novel that he drew and wrote in the eighties. Our encounter with Gül’s work, the responsibility we have assumed over it and the case of this book in particular give rise to questions on the ethics both of publishing and of not publishing posthumously, on the issues of translating slang and colloquialisms, on the role and responsibility of the publisher, the choice of context and the positioning of pornographic content.

Two round table discussions on these topics were held in two different cities. The first was in April 2012 at Rongwrong, an Amsterdam based space for art and theory, run by Antonia Carrara and Arnisa Zeqo in collaboration with Laurie Cluitmans, and included among others art historian Sophie Berrebi, art critic Koen Kleijn and curator Manuel Klappe. The second, hosted by The Collective Gallery, took place in May 2012 in Edinburgh at The White Horse. The discussion was chaired by writer Neil Cooper and included writer, publisher (Rebel Inc) and activist Kevin Williamson and artist Sarah Tripp.

Excavate and be Damned?
is and installation with an audio track, a video with the transcription of the audio and printed object on the wall, which is Masist Gül’s  business card*. The audio track in this installation is a concise compilation of selected excerpts from both discussions.

For more information on Masist Gül, his work and the different phases of this project, please ask for the documents at the reception. For responses or questions please contact us: bcennetoglu@yahoo.com or p.c.hoegen@gmail.com.

*Translation of the text on the business card:

Masist Gül
Actor, Painter and Engraver
Graphic Novelist, Philosophy Painter,
Caricaturist, Poet, Writer, Sculptor
Lathe Turner, Carpenter and Weightlifting Coach
(Without Education and Without Teacher, Talent)