JFK’s death seen through multi-disciplinary artwork

JFK’s death seen through multi-disciplinary artwork

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
JFK’s death seen through multi-disciplinary artwork

Baykam believes that showing art works that trigger the five senses is something he has done insistently. “I call it ‘livart’. It attracts the masses by taking them ‘into the art,’ the artist has said.

Turkish artist Bedri Baykam’s latest exhibition, “8 Seconds that Changed the World,” delves into the circumstances surrounding John F. Kennedy’s death. Fittingly, the show at Piramid Sanat opened on the anniversary of his death, Nov. 22.

Baykam believes obviously neither the United States nor the world have never been the same since Kennedy’s death. “Actually to sum it up, the world has become a worse place afterwards,” Baykam said, “Even the ‘8 seconds’ has been very much debated. For some it’s 5.6 seconds, for some other it’s 7... I am among those who believe that there is a first shot that missed the car and we see Kennedy surprised and he stops waving his hands. Next as he’s going to wave again he’s hit in the throat and we know the next 5 seconds from the Zapruder film till he’s hit mortally in the head. So these minor 8 seconds were enough to change the course of all events in the world, maybe till today.” 

Conspiracy theories

There are a number of points that make Baykam think that conspiracy may have been involved in the Kennedy case. 

“There are way too many reasons that cannot fit a question in an interview,” he said, “But I can mention at least few things: Right after the killing on that day, they first said that the rifle found was a German Mauser 7.65. After the framing of Oswald suddenly the rifle became an Italian Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5! Without any explanation at all! Also the fact that the Warren Commission refused to listen to Jack Ruby who wanted to tell all the secrets about the assassination in Washington DC, is very revelatory of how biased the investigation was. Also the fact that no whatsoever lead that mentioned anything besides Oswald was ever followed also is a big proof of the conspiracy. People who were direct enemies of Kennedy like Allen Dulles were taken in the Warren Commission for investigating the murder. The fact that so many witnesses were killed or committed suicide or died in strange accidents also is beyond belief. Also you can add to that the fact that right after the murder the Vietnam war escalated instead of calming down as Kennedy wanted it.”

Bakyam has been using involving multi-disciplinary art in his exhibitions since 1987. “I have been doing directly political art since that year besides the ‘politics of art’ I had been involved heavily since 1984 especially through the rights of non-western artists. Showing art works that trigger the five senses is something I have done insistently since that year. I call it ‘livart’. It attracts the masses by taking them ‘into the art.’ The videos in this JFK show are quite worked. First of all, just for the opening, our ‘Oswald’ distributed ‘Hands off Cuba’ flyers as a performance, like he really did in August 1963. In one of them I tell about the assassination in english in seven hours. In another one I tell about the show in Turkish in 10 hours,” said the artist. 

“I have been using collages since 1981” said Baykam, and continued: “Also since then at various moments of my career, I worked on paint transparencies, digital photo transparencies, material transparencies. Finally I decided to combine all those on the lenticular surface and it worked perfectly! Since then after 2007, I have shown those works in various Museums, Galleries and art fairs around the world. Everywhere I take this type of works the professionals of art in each country ask me ‘What is this, how do you do it?’ So I just answer them “It’s Turkish Magic, just enjoy it!” During the exhibition, there will be film screenings and panel discussions about the JFK assassination at Piramid Sanat. In the exhibition catalogue, meanwhile, there will also be articles by critic Emin Çetin Girgin and forensic scientist Sevil Atasoy, alongside Baykam’s own article. Baykam will further publish a book on the Kennedy case that carries the same name, “8 Seconds that Changed the World” in 2014. The first chapter of the book has been included in the exhibition catalog as a teaser.