Ahu Antmen writes in her article on Bayrak’s art;These words by an art reporter following the Annual Avantgarde Festival of New York organized in autumn 1971 by Charlotte Moorman and featuring a great number of artists including John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik and Billy Kluver provides clues as to how Tosun Bayrak’s art was perceived during those years: ‘I heard “The Star Spangled Banner.” It was the one and only ultra-sophisticated Tosun Bayrak in absentia. His contribution was sprawled out on a Rinso-white tablecloth –a loaf of Sicilian, chunks of tripe, skinned and bloody lamb heads with popping eyeballs, a piss-filled urinal and bedpan full of fresh, stinking shit. Not very many could get close to his historic avant garde contribution.’ To evaluate the shock of tripe, sheep’s head and trotters (!) Bayrak dishes out in his works from this period within the context of Julia Kristeva’s concept of the “abject” might perhaps open a more intelligible window. This concept goes beyond the meaning of disgust, and defines a violation of borders, positions and regulations, or the subject and the condition of subjectivity. What we abhor and keep away in order to build/protect our own physical integrity in the spiritual sense, is in fact ourselves: What we do not regard as ours, is in fact what has been torn away from our body, our body itself. Tosun Bayrak, too, when assessing his aforementioned installations and performances often makes a similar comment: “Our aim was to tell people, we may look fine from the outside, but let’s see what we have inside; veins, blood, urine, flesh, bones and intestines… Look at all that and understand what you are, and set aside your vanity”
The writer; Antmen ends up her article in the book prepared for the exhibition with the following explanation; he undoubtedly was an artist who managed to puzzle, and in fact, shock. But when we look back today, the truly interesting aspect of his art is not the story of “The Turk in America who shocked everyone”, but the fact that he managed to place on the agenda the relationship between art and certain cultural reflections and representative dynamics about America, Turkey, the formation processes of modern identities and the deconstruction of the traditional, the Cold War psychology in the second half of the previous century, and about how societies are culturally and psychologically founded, divided and how cultural and spiritual reflections shape visual culture.
Tosun Bayrak's “Fasa Fiso” will exhibit the artist’s works from various collections in Turkey; reproductions of art works held in museums worldwide; videos of his “happenings” such as Love America or Live and Tosun’s Dinner and Wake; and completely new, post-2010 works.
The exhibition will offer attendees a performance piece developed especially for this exhibition that will make waves, demonstrating that today, at the age of 90, Bayrak still possesses the dynamism that have made his journey of art and life so extraordinary.
Tosun Bayrak's “Fasa Fiso” can be viewed from October 5 through December 3 at the Millî Reasürans Art Gallery.>> Current Exhibition >> All Exhibitions