Cevdet Erek’s Turkey Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2017

Turkey Pavilion releases plans for exhibition at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Cevdet Erek speaks about his installation work “ÇIN”, to be presented at the Venice Biennale opening in May 2017.

Cevdet Erek, Arzu Colakoglu, Gorgun Taner at the Venice Bienalle Press Conference, February 27 2017. Image courtesy IKSV.

Cevdet Erek, Arzu Colakoglu, Gorgun Taner at the Venice Biennale Press Conference, February 27 2017. Image courtesy Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Art.

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Art (İKSV) has released information about the artwork to be exhibited at the Turkey Pavilion as part of their participation in the 57th Venice Biennale, held between 13 May and 26 November 2017. Artist, musician and academic Cevdet Erek will present a site-specific work for the pavilion entitled “ÇIN”.

Speaking at a press conference on the 27 February, Cevdet Erek stated:

Instead of trying to describe a project that is meant to be experienced on-site, and is still in the phase of formation, I propose to imagine a scene together as an exercise: There is a fenced ruin in the distance with a guard inside of it who should not leave during the day. The guard, while walking in silence, notices a visitor who carefully peeks around and the concert of thousands of crickets thanks to the visitor. This duo, who try to talk to each other at a distance, briefly cry out at the same time from the ear pain caused by a violent noise that occurs out of the blue. Then, at night, in another place as the officer tries to suppress the ringing in her ears by opening the window two fingerbreadths and the noise a notch, enters an alarm sound: ‘viyuviyuviyuviyu’. Then she tries to imagine again in the same order by going back to the beginning.

Cevdek Eret "Logo", 2017. GIF frame image. Image courtesy the artist.

Cevdet Erek, “Project Logo”, 2017. GIF frame image. Image courtesy the artist.

While few specific details were release about ÇIN, Cevdet Erek gave an introduction to the core project team, made up of project coordinator Yelin Bilgin, architect Gürden Gür, architect Elif Tunçel, art historian (and Cevdet Erek’s sibling) Ayşe Erek and visual identity designer Yetkin Başarır. A gif relating to the project was also released.

Born in Istanbul, Erek created his first installation in 2012 for Documenta 13. His work is characterised by a marked use of rhythm and site specificity, often combining video, sound and images in an attempt to alter the viewer’s perception and experience of a given space. Interestingly, Erek manages to combine rational components such as references to architecture and linear time with instinctive impulses, thereby levelling the gap between two supposedly opposing spheres. When Erek is not creating his art or teaching, he plays drums for a Turkish prog-rock and metal band called Nekropsi.

Cevdet Erek, "Rythym Room", 2015. Mixed media, computer and architectural elements. Installation View Otto Park Istanbul Biennale. Image courtesy the artist

Cevdet Erek, “Rythym Room”, 2015, mixed media, computer and architectural elements. Installation view at Otto Park Istanbul Biennale. Image courtesy the artist.

Since their first participation in the Venice Bienniale in 1991, the Turkey Pavilion, which fell under the auspices of the IKSV in 2003, has produced a number of ground-breaking contributions, including the notable projects by Ali Kazma, Ahmet Öğüt, Hüseyin Çağlayan, Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin and Ayşe Erkmen. At the aforementioned press conference, IKSV General Director Görgün Taner highlighted the role of the pavilion as a space of interaction between the local and the global, stating:

We believe that our regular participation in the biennale provides a crucial platform for Turkey’s production and success in the field of culture and arts to have a repercussion abroad.

Rebecca Close

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Related topics: Turkish artistsemerging artists, installation, biennials, biennalesevents in Istanbul

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