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Çin by Cevdet Erek on view in the Pavilion Of Turkey at The 57th International Art Exhibition La Biennale Di Venezia

ÇIN, a new work by Cevdet Erek, is now on view in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. Organised 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 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 programme 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 the 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 are 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 and 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.”

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.

A leaflet with a new text formed by inserting samples from texts Cevdet Erek has shared throughout the process accompanies the exhibition. A bilingual catalogue will be published during the course of the Biennale Arte 2017, featuring a description of the process of making ÇIN, its documentation and responses to the work. It will be published by İKSV and distributed by Yapı Kredi Publications in Turkey. In addition, a 10” record, which features separate samples and mixes of the sound ornamentations, and containing the exhibition leaflet, will also be released.

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. Cevdet Erek will host (Open Table) Tavola Aperta on Wednesday 17 May from 13.00 to 15.00, offering visitors the chance to meet him over a casual lunch in the Sale d’Armi in the Arsenale. To reserve a place at this official biennale event, please visit the website of La Biennale di Venezia. The Open Table (Tavola Aperta) 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. The video that Cevdet Erek prepared could be seen at the exhibition venue of Arsenale.

Supporters of the Pavilion of Turkey

The exhibition for the Pavilion of Turkey Exhibition is coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), sponsored by Fiat, and realised with the contributions from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and the production support of SAHA Association. The long-term venue was secured by İKSV for a duration of 20 years from 2014 to 2034, and is made possible by the generous contributions of 21 supporters.

Advisory Board of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia

The advisory board of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia is comprised of artist Ali Kazma, curator at Arter Başak Doğa Temür, Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Culture and Art Enterprises General Manager Özalp Birol, curator and Art Advisor at Istanbul Modern Museum Paolo Colombo, and Prof. Dr. Zeynep İnankur from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Western and Contemporary Art.

Cevdet Erek

Cevdet Erek was born in Istanbul in 1974. During and after studying architecture at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Erek worked at various architectural practices as well as in the music band Nekropsi. Upon finishing a Masters 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. His installations and performances have been presented at 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 ve 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). Publications include: ''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 the Nam June 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 International Film Festival - Special Jury Prize, 2014), and music and sound co-design for Emin Alper’s feature length film “Frenzy” (72nd Venice International Film Festival – Special Jury Prize, 2015). Since 2011, Cevdet Erek lives in Istanbul, teaching at ITU. Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts would like to thank Istanbul Technical University (ITU) for their kind collaboration in Cevdet Erek’s participation to the Pavilion of Turkey.

The Pavilion of Turkey at La Biennale di Venezia

Turkey participated in the International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia for the first time in 1991, with the personal efforts of Beral Madra and contributions of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Beral Madra was the curator and the commissioner of exhibitions between 1991 and 2001. Since 2007, the Pavilion of Turkey has been organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). The artist and the curator of the Pavilion are proposed by an Advisory Board that changes every two years.

In 2014, at the initiation of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) and with the gracious support of 21 sponsors, Turkey obtained a long-term venue at La Biennale di Venezia from 2014 to 2034 at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, one of the two main venues of the event. This allowed the Pavilion of Turkey to take part for the first time in 2014 in the International Architecture Exhibition.