The Pavilion of Turkey at the 54th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale

Ayşe Erkmen will represent Turkey with her work titled "Plan B" at the 54th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale to be held between 4 June-27 November 2011. The Pavilion of Turkey is curated by Fulya Erdemci, with the curatorial collaboration of Danae Mossman who had been working with Ayşe Erkmen for various projects. The Pavilion will be located at Artiglierie, Arsenale, the main venue of the Biennale.

The Pavilion of Turkey, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), is sponsored by FIAT and is realised under the auspices of Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the contribution of The Promotion Fund of the Turkish Prime Ministry.

For detailed information:

The press conference of the Pavilion of Turkey was held on Tuesday, 26 April at Salon, İKSV. İKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı; TOFAŞ CEO Ali Pandır, on behalf of FİAT, the Pavilion's sponsor for 2011 and 2013; Fulya Erdemci and Ayşe Erkmen were the participating speakers.

İKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı said during his speech: "İKSV has been realising, since 2004, international projects aiming at promoting Turkey's cultural heritage and contemporary artistic production. Within this respect, the Foundation has been undertaking the organisation and coordination of the Venice Biennale, Pavilion of Turkey since 2007. We see Turkey's taking part in the Venice Biennale as a significant opportunity for artists from Turkey and we are very happy to contribute to this. I would like to thank our curator Fulya Erdemci and artist Ayşe Erkmen for the exciting project they developed. I also would like to thank Fiat, who undertook the Pavilion's sponsorship for the 54th and 55th editions of the Venice Biennale, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Promotion Fund of the Turkish Prime Ministry."

Turkey abroad is invaluable for us. That is the reason why we are extremely proud to be the sponsor of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 54th Venice Biennale. As you well know, partner of our company, Koç Holding, is undertaking the sponsorship of the Istanbul Biennial between 2007 and 2016. I think that the support we provide to the Pavilion of Turkey at the Venice Biennale coincides with Koç Holding's biennial sponsorship, proving the importance to the issue given by both companies. I would like to thank Koç Holding Vice Chairman Mr. Ömer M. Koç, an avid art collector himself, who paved the way for this sponsorship to happen. Our principle is to expand our contribution to the country's economy and employment to the field of social responsibility through the valuable culture and arts projects that we support. On behalf of TOFAŞ family, I would like to express our content in contributing to this significant artistic event and my gratitude to all those who contributed to the organisation."

Following Bülent Eczacıbaşı and Ali Pandır's speeches, Fulya Erdemci and Ayşe Erkmen gave detailed information on the Pavilion's conceptual framework and on the project "Plan B" to press members and viewers.

Ayşe Erkmen's sculptural installation "Plan B" draws on the ineluctable and complex relationship Venice has with water. Her project transforms a room inside the Arsenale into a complex water purification unit where machines perform as sculptures, encompassing the audience inside of the filtration process which eventually provides clean, drinkable water back to the canal.

Each component of the filtration unit has been separated out, humorously disseminating the machinery throughout the room then reconnecting the elements with extended pipes. Erkmen choreographs the elegant industrial forms to draw attention to the process of transformation, at the end of which, the purified water is returned to the canal: a futile, yet courageous gesture against the overwhelming scale of the canal and the ocean.

Formally, Erkmen's practice often comments on minimalism's relationship between the industrial form and the body. Here the installation generates a visceral experience for viewers who are embodied within the mechanism of transformation.

"Plan B" abstractly conveys systems and processes that we are part of daily: blood circulating through the body, Capital flowing through borders, the mechanisms of authority, the supply of natural resources. While proffering a poetic reference to the potentiality of change, the work is simultaneously a subtle, humorous critique of the euphoria for unsustainable short-lived solutions within the complex systems and structures that surround us.

Industrial designer Konstantin Grcic was invited to design a tote bag for the project, based on the conceptual framework. The bag is produced with the sponsorship of Bilsar.

A book will be published to accompany Ayşe Erkmen's installation "Plan B". The publication will include, besides Fulya Erdemci's conceptual framework text, newly commissioned essays by the historian Edhem Eldem and American art historian and critic Gregory Volk, along with an interview with Ayşe Erkmen, conducted by Danae Mossman and joined by Fulya Erdemci. The book is designed by Bülent Erkmen and will be published by Yapı Kredi Publications during the opening days of the Biennale, to be sold at bookstores in Istanbul and in major European cities.

The Pavilion of Turkey at the 54th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale will inaugurate with the opening ceremony to be held on Friday, 3 June, at 12.00.

Featuring works of artists from 89 countries, the 54th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale will be open for visitors from Saturday, 4 June onwards until 27 November 2011.