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Cevdet Erek, "AAAAA"

IN SITU: Cevdet Erek – AAAAA

SAHA supported the production of Cevdet Erek’s new work for his solo show at M HKA held between 20 January–29 April 2018.

With works based on experience and perception, particularly of place, time and rhythm, Cevdet Erek’s practice might be considered an investigation into the politics of space. An artist with a background in architecture as well as music, Erek has often worked site-specifically in non-art spaces as part of his natural territory. Some key examples are Erek’s installation “Room of Rhythms – Otopark” (2015), located in a parking garage as part of the 14th Biennial of Istanbul, followed more recently by his major project “ÇIN” for the Pavilion of Turkey at the Venice Biennale in 2017. For his exhibition curated by Nav Haq at M HKA, Erek has developed an experimental project that takes the core facets of his practice into a new material investigation.

Along with numerous site visits to Antwerp, Erek has also traced back impressions and experiments from a month’s work period in the city in 2009. At the heart of the installation is a new typographical work the artist has created, formed through translating the geometric grammar of the façades of terraced homes found in the city that resemble the letter “A”, into something we read as language. As well as inspiring the title of the exhibition “AAAAA” these façades are presented as life-size graphic paintings on the walls of the gallery. These letters resemble the comic-book style used for the visualisation of sounds, as if they are coming from the city and into the museum via the window.

Erek is interested in the relations between the spaces inside and outside the museum, also looking at the presence of “street furniture” – barriers, bollards and advertisement boards – in the street just beyond the exhibition space. The project brings such functional “readymade” items into a formation within the exhibition space that mirrors literally that of the outside. The exhibition seeks to raise questions about the role of objects in human mediation, contrasting the mode used by one public infrastructure – the municipal mediation of the street – and that of another – the psychologically mediated ‘attention economy’ of the museum. The outer world of the street and the inner world of the exhibition space have an uncanny relationship, where the logic of objects in one space become alien in the other.

The exhibition includes two toy-like sculptural archetypes based on the classic form of a van. Made of Corten steel which oxidises over time, one is parked outside the museum, and one inside the gallery.

About Cevdet Erek

During and following studying architecture at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Cevdet Erek (1974, Istanbul) worked at various architectural practices while also taking part in the music band Nekropsi. Upon completing his masters degree in Sound Engineering & Design at İTÜ MIAM Center for Advanced Studies in Music, Erek was an artist in residence at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 2005-2006. Erek’s installations and performances were shown in dOCUMENTA (13) (2012); Istanbul Biennial (2003, 2013 and 2015), Sydney Biennial (2016), Sharjah Biennial (2013), Stedelijk Museum (2014), MAXXI (2014 and 2015), Istanbul Modern (2014, 2015 and 2016), Arter (2011), SALT (2012 and 2015) and others. Major solo exhibitions of his work were organized by Spike Island in Bristol, titled “Alt Üst” (2014), and "Week" at Kunsthalle Basel (2012). His published books are: ''SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack” (2008, BAS), “Room of Rhythms 1” (2012, Walther König) and “Less Empty Maybe” (2015, Revolver/Artist).  “SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack” was the recipient of Nam June Paik Media Art Prize given by Kunststiftung NRW (2012). Among his most recent sound/music work are; sound and music direction for Kaan Müjdeci's feature length film “Sivas” (71st Venice Film Festival - Special Jury Prize, 2014), music and sound co-design for Emin Alper’s feature length film “Frenzy” (72nd Venice Film Festival - Special Jury Prize, 2015). Since 2011 Cevdet Erek has taught at Istanbul Technical University and lives and works in Istanbul.

About M HKA

M HKA is a museum for contemporary art, film and visual culture. M HKA, the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, is the Flemish Government’s museum of contemporary art, founded in 1987, but it also receives funding from the City of Antwerp and the Province of Antwerp. M HKA is an open meeting place for art, artists and audiences. M HKA aspires to a leading position within Flanders and an international profile based on the avant-garde tradition of Antwerp. M HKA connects artistic issues and broader societal issues, international and regional perspectives, artists and audiences, tradition and renewal, reflection and presentation. A central concern is working with the collection, which includes acquisitions, maintenance and research.

The IN SITU programme at M HKA offers medium-scale monographic exhibitions by significant early- and mid-career artists from around the world. It focuses on the commissioning of new works, foregrounding  experimental practices in what is M HKA’s largest and most atypical exhibition space.