Turkish pavilion opens in Venice
VENICEÇIN, a new work by Cevdet Erek, has gone on view at the Pavilion of Turkey at the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia.
Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the Pavilion of Turkey is located at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, one of the main exhibition venues of La Biennale di Venezia. The installation can be seen until Nov. 26.
A site-specific installation, ÇIN uses architecture and sound to explore poetic and political imaginings. Its title has been imagined as a sound signal that foretells the work.
An onomatopoeic word in Turkish, ÇIN imitates a specific percussive sound, similar to the “ding” in English, and is also a root from which two words are derived: reverberation (the prolongation of a sound after it occurs, defined by characteristics of the space it is in) and tinnitus (ringing in the ears due to acoustical trauma or other reasons).
With ÇIN, Erek continues the experimentation of themes and methods which he has investigated in his previous series “Room of Rhythms,” “Rulers and Rhythms Studies” and “Sound Ornamentations.”
In these works, rhythms of history, the everyday and nature are formalized in the coming together of sound, architecture and performance. At the same time, visual and sonic timelines are also constructed, while architectural ornamentation is created through the use of sound patterns and speech.
Pre-conceptualization, experimentation and improvisation each play a part in ÇIN’s creation.
The basis of Erek’s work for the Pavilion of Turkey consists of a spatial program concretized by an architectural construction and a multichannel sound installation that were conceived in tandem. Sounds – all produced in the space after its physical construction was completed – guide one’s passage and are confronted both sequentially and as an infinite variety of combinations.
Their complex configurations are, at times, immersive and, at other moments, obscured due to the position and direction of the visitor, generating unseen boundaries and articulating transitivity.
Over the course of the Biennale Arte 2017, ÇIN will also be open to interventions by enabling artists to perform in the space, for instance, with the original sounds varied or switched off – the form is never final.
As part of the installation, stairs might emerge with connotations to any given impression from a venue for mass gathering: from a ruined cultural venue to a stadium, or just a pedestrian pass in a city with hills.
The sampling of some architectural elements – and body’s movements on those – is expected to spread the work to the town that hosts it and perhaps other places via memory. Activated through sound and space, imagination becomes a matter of political urgency, creating a place that is both tangible and intangible.
“The work attempts to pull in different directions toward a place that is inhabited, a place with its contradictions and limitations, a place that drive the will to challenge and confront, a place to imagine,” Erek said.
The ÇIN project team includes pre-installation project coordinator Yelin Bilgin, architect and a soft tone Gürden Gür, architect and smiling face Elif Tunçel, art historian and sibling Ayşe Erek and visual identity designer Yetkin Başarır.
Every Friday and Saturday during the six months of the Biennale Arte 2017, artists will host an Open Table (Tavola Aperta) and meet visitors over a casual lunch to hold a lively conversation about their practice.
Erek will host Open Table on May 17 between 1 and 3 p.m., offering visitors the chance to meet him over a casual lunch in the Sale d’Armi in the Arsenale.
The Open Table events will be filmed and streamed live on La Biennale’s website.
A permanent space will also be created in both exhibition venues of Biennale Arte 2017 for the Artists Practices Project, a series of short videos made by the artists about themselves and their way of working.
A video that Erek prepared can be seen at the exhibition venue of the Arsenale.
Born in Istanbul in 1974, Cevdet Erek, worked at various architectural practices as well as in the music band Nekropsi during and after studying architecture at the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts.
Erek was an artist in residence at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 2005-2006, and his installations and performances have been presented at various venues.
“SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack” was the recipient of the Nam June June Paik Media Art Prize given by Kunststiftung NRW (2012). Most recently, he directed the sound and music for Kaan Müjdeci’s feature length film “Sivas,” which won the special jury prize at the 71st Venice International Film Festival in 2014, and co-designed the music and sound for Emin Alper’s feature length film “Frenzy,” which won the special jury prize at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival in 2015.
Since 2011, Erek has lived in Istanbul, where he teaches at Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ).