FRIDAY 01.06.07 AT 7PM

02.06.07 – 14.07.07


Masist Gül (1947-2003) was an artist of Armenian origin, who was born and lived in Istanbul.

Gül was a Turkish actor who played in over 300 movies, mostly obscure in which he played small roles. Because of his body-builder physique he was often cast as the villain or the brute. He was also an extraordinary artist, producing a large amount of collages, drawings and poetry which no one, except a few close friends, ever saw. An autodidact, he taught himself specific techniques like copper engraving.

Almost all his work is a reflection on his own life, speaking mostly of the hardship and loneliness he experienced. The protagonists in his work are without exception his mirror images. At the same time his body and appearance were meticulously and consistently constructed upon an idea he had about himself: a role, an ideal, or simply an inescapable fact?

During the 80’s Gül conceived and made by hand a series of 6 books with the title “Kaldirim Destani – Kaldirimlar Kurdunun Hayati” (Pavement Myth – The Life of the Pavement’s Wolf) using a periodical comic book format. The story takes place between 1905 and 1978. It is written in Turkish and is impossible to translate without significant loss of meaning as he wrote everything in rhyme, using the language in a highly personal way.

The first existing reproductions of these originals are published as Bent 001*.

*Bent is a series of artists’ books from Turkey, initiated and produced by BAS** and Philippine Hoegen. The six books by Masist Gül appeared as Bent 001-1/ 6. Bent 002 is a phrase-book crime story by Asli Çavusoglu and Bent 003 is an archive of parts followed by dystopian scenes by Emre Hüner.

**BAS is an artists’ run space in Istanbul. Initiated and run by Banu Cennetoglu, it is a place where printed matter is collected, displayed and produced, focusing on artists’ books and publications.