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Didem Erk

SAHA provided support for the production of the new works “I wish I could not be traced in archives (May Datça be My Resting Place)” and “Black Thread” by Didem Erk participating in TarraWarra International 2017 held between 2 September–12 November 2017.

“I wish I could not be traced in archives” (May Datça be My Resting Place) (2017) is a piece of an ongoing performative project series. This site responsive project is realised where the bodies of refugees have washed up on the shores of both the Aegean and the Mediterranean sides of Datça, a small town in the south west of Turkey. This work refers to a geographical border rather than a political one whereby a geographical transition path becomes a political act. In this work Didem Erk walks along the North and South parts of Datça and reads aloud from a book titled “May Datça be my resting place” by the famous Turkish poet, Can Yücel. The pathways she walked are non-places which have no specific identity.

“Black Thread” is a de-composed and re-composed installation with the collected second hand books that are censored and burned out. To cover something sometimes makes it visible, to underline or to cross-out a word makes it legible. How does the memory relate to performativity? Memory is a grid of words, sounds and smells.
Artists: Cao Fei (China), Didem Erk (Turkey), Cyrus Tang (Hong Kong), Patrick Pound (Australia), Tom Nicholson (Australia).

About Didem Erk

Didem Erk (1986, Istanbul) studied in the Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design department at the Sabancı University and graduated with a master’s degree from the same department. Using performance, video, installation and text as tools, the artist continues in her works her inquiry into the poetic aspects of the notions of language, memory and border related to space. Scrutinizing the possible defects and functionalities of memory in relation to the performative aspects of the act of remembrance, the artist has met the audience with her works in many exhibitions. The artist has participated in the following exhibitions among others: “Symbiosis”, 15th Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and Mediterranean (Thessaloniki-Greece, 2011), “Offside Effect”, 1st Tbilisi Triennial, Center of Contemporary Art (Tbilisi, Georgia, 2012), “Mom, am I Barbarian?” 13th Istanbul Biennial, Arter (Istanbul, Turkey, 2013), Mamut Art Project (Istanbul, 2013), “Carte Blanche to Nil Yalter”, GALERIST (Istanbul, 2014), “Stay with me”, Apartment Project (Berlin, Germany 2014), “Subversion of the Sensible”, Fabbrica Del Vapore (Milan, Italy, 2014), “Stay with me”, Depo (Istanbul, 2015), “Performing Memory”, Plato Sanat (Istanbul, 2015), “Every Inclusion is an Exclusion of Other Possibilities”, Salt Beyoğlu, (Istanbul, 2015), “Stay with me”, Studienzentrum für Künstlerpublikationen (Bremen, Germany, 2015), “Through the Barricades”, Fabbrica Del Vapore (Milan, Italy, 2015), “Stay with me”, De Kijkdoos Project Space (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2016), “A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance”, Pilot (Istanbul, 2016), “Stay with me”, Belvedere Museum- 21er Haus (Vienna, 2016), “Imago Mundi – Mediterranean Routes”, Cantieri Cultural Alla Zisa – ZAC – ZISA Zona Arti Contemporanee (Palermo, Italy, 2017), “Are You Still Alive - Voices of Conscience at a Time of Silencing”, Steirische Kultur Initiative (Graz, Austria, 2017), “Blow Up: Kavunu Gördüm”, SALT Galata (Istanbul, 2017), “House of Wisdom” Dzialdov (Berlin, Germany, 2017).

About the TarraWarra Museum of Art

TarraWarra Museum of Art brings together the appreciation of both art and place. Situated in the Yarra Valley, on the cusp of outer Melbourne and inner regional Victoria, Australia, the Museum is positioned to deliver the important history of Australian modernism and new developments in contemporary art to a large cross section of the Australian and international visitors. The Museum presents an international exhibition of contemporary art, TarraWarra International, and a biennial of Australian art, TarraWarra Biennial, in alternate years. Since opening its doors in 2003, the Museum has presented over 80 exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.