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Erdem Taşdelen

The Curtain Sweeps Down

SAHA supported the production of Erdem Taşdelen’s new works for his solo exhibition “The Curtain Sweeps Down” at VOX — Centre de l'image contemporaine held between 14 February–31 March 2018.

Erdem Taşdelen’s first solo exhibition in Montreal explores the sociopolitical implications of the story behind “Genç Kızlar”, a work of literature published in Turkey in 1950. Released under the pseudonym Vincent Ewing, this Turkish-language novel was in fact written by 21-year-old Nihal Yeğinobalı, a young woman who had previously translated several books from English to Turkish but never authored one herself. After the publisher of her translations rejected her proposal to write her own novel—implying that writing is an activity better suited for men—Yeğinobalı decided to attribute her manuscript to a fictitious Anglo-American male, and claimed to have only translated it. Upon publication, this pseudotranslation aroused the interest of audiences with its erotically suggestive content, and quickly became a bestseller. It has since been reprinted numerous times, but it wasn’t until 2003 that it was finally published under Yeğinobalı’s name.

An assemblage of works in sound, photography, painting and text, Taşdelen’s project offers a semi-fictionalized narrative of these events to underscore the systematic ways in which certain voices are muted while others are permitted to enter into the mainstream. The exhibition seeks to stimulate dialogue on tactics that may result in effective resistance against censorship and discrimination, and considers self-concealment as a strategic tool to advance progressive politics in environments where open dissent may be too risky.

About Erdem Taşdelen

Erdem Taşdelen (1985, Ankara) is a Turkish-Canadian artist based in Toronto. His multidisciplinary practice, rooted in conceptualism, involves a range of media including installation, video, drawing, sculpture, sound and artist books. His diverse projects are often characterized by a mordant humour, bringing self-expression into question within the context of culturally learned behaviours. His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at venues including Contemporary Art Gallery and Or Gallery, Vancouver; Pera Museum, Istanbul; Framer Framed, Amsterdam (2017); Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg (2016); Stacion Center for Contemporary Art, Kosovo; Sabanci Museum, Istanbul (2015); ARTER, Istanbul (2014); Kunstverein Hannover; Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; MAK, Vienna; Biennial of the Americas, Denver; Western Front, Vancouver (2013); and Oakville Galleries (2012).

About the VOX

VOX — Centre de l'image contemporaine was founded in 1985, and its mission is to support research and presentation initiatives as well as to enable artists, exhibition curators and other researchers to contribute to art experimentation, reflection and to the development of multiple forms of critical discourse around image-making and exhibition practices from the 1960s to present day.

Its main activity is exhibitions, most often complemented by publications, documentation spaces, film screenings, conferences and online projects. The exhibitions and other artistic events that the centre produces are grounded in long-term work with artists, and often designed as collective projects that encourage discussions and debates about art and contemporary society as well as public meetings with diverse audiences.