On the 13th of June artist Genco Gülan installed his work “the King eating his head” at Gezi Park and on Taksim Square. A sculpture made out of one of the gas capsules, Gülan had been exposed to while trying to attend to the protest in Gezi Park.
The high quality of different artistic contributions ennobled the uprisings in Turkey around the small Gezi Park at Taksim Square. What first seemed to be a sudden outburst of public anger was in fact a long emerging process including the suppression of the cultural fields in Turkey. The massive legal prosecutions of Writers, Journalists, Cartoonists, Film-Producers and Publishers are used systematically as a beheading of critical Voices in Turkey.
The king beheading himself, Genco Gülan is using as a motive, offers a symbolism playing with the self destructive elements power abuse is always implying. It is inverting the violent oppression of others into an absurd act of self-mutilation of the despotic power eliminating itself. Beside the expression “having eaten ones head”(kafası yemiş ) means as an idiom in Turkish, that someone goes out of mind. The usage of a real capsule as material for the sculpture made the interventional installation one of the most meaningful works in Gezi Park. It reinstalled intellectual freedom on a place endangered by the dominance of ignorance in Turkish cultural politics.
A meaningful reference in this frame are the dramas of William Shakespeare, offering an orchestra of ridiculing and exaggerating elements in the density of a language evoking new expressions and creating unusual images. Self-mutilation is one of them. In the drama Richard III. the king is cutting his own throat after he has or got all his relatives and rivals murdered in an absurd act of genocide on his own roots. When everything around him is getting to ashes in his search for revenge also Hamlet Prince of Denmark assumes:
Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t .
Yes indeed. Madness as a method is used around the suppression of the peaceful protests around Gezi Park. Artists are answering in there own way against this vicious circle.
As the performance of the duran adam/standing man does: http://www.inenart.eu/?p=10101
How it starts: Occupy Gezi Park