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Cevdet Erek, "ÇIN"


SAHA supported for the production of Cevdet Erek’s “ÇIN” hold in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 57th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia between the dates 13 May–26 November 2017.

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, every day and nature are formalised in the coming together of sound, architecture and performance; visual and sonic timelines are constructed; and architectural ornamentation is created through the use of sound patterns and speech.

Pre-conceptualisation, 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 concretised 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 in 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: in enabling artists to perform in the space, for instance, with the original sounds varied or switched off. Its form is never final.

The movement of the visitor is integral to the work, encouraging diverse responses through the evocation of temporal and bodily memories. A “sound-ornamented” inner façade and platform occupying the centre of the installation is lifted above a “transit route” that makes it possible to journey between neighbouring pavilions. Dividing the room physically and aurally into two main areas with related qualities, the façade is reached by way of stairs and ramps, while blocked “away terraces” located behind these can be seen but not entered—a temporarily unavailable an inaccessible public space. The installation aims to summon memories. For instance, of the recent experience of crossing a Venetian bridge over ramps, originally constructed for the city’s marathon and which have subsequently stayed; or perhaps of reaching a dramatic elevation or of resting on stairs in the public realm. 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—an abstract medium at times—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,” Erek explains: “towards 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.”

About Cevdet Erek

During and after studying architecture at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Cevdet Erek (1974, Istanbul) worked at various architectural practices as well as in the music band Nekropsi. Upon finishing masters in Sound Engineering & Design at İTÜ MIAM Center for Advanced Studies in Music, he 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 teaches at ITU and lives in Istanbul.