The Portrait of Zülküf İsot

colaj on paper with hot paper (isot), 70×50 cm., İstanbul, 2011

“Portrait of Zülküf Isot’ is produced for the exhibition ‘Prescription’ that addresses to a court case related to first anti-fascist student killings that killed seven university students in 16 March 1978. A case was opened for and it wasn’t settled since then, hence a statute of repose was imposed recently. Zülküf Isot, the young man who detonated the bomb felt penitent and wanted to surrender himself to the police to testify but was killed by one of his friends before being able to do it. Zülküf Isot’s story reminds us the story of Nikolai, the central character in Dostoyevsky’s ‘Demons’, who suffers from predicaments and a guilty conscience. The portrait done by using isot* (hot pepper) relates to Zülküf’s surname and takes sides with him in 19 March massacre where he is both a murderer and a slain. The portrait makes a reference to ‘bitterness’ and ‘time’ as they both are associated with the medium.

*Red pepper darkens in colour and gets hotter when sun-dried for a long time. After its long drying period the hot pepper ‘isot’ is obtained.

Prescription, Rumeli Han C Bloc, Istanbul, 2011