Cevdet Erek To Represent Turkey at 2017 Venice Biennale
By HG Masters
The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Art (İKSV) announced on April 26 that artist, musician and academic Cevdet Erek would represent Turkey at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Erek has become increasingly well-known abroad for his visual and sonic installations, “Room of Rhythms,” since the first iteration debuted at Documenta 13 in 2012. The production and curatorial team has not yet been selected.
In recent years, Erek has been included in numerous international festivals since Documenta 13, including the 14th Istanbul Biennial in 2015, with A Room of Rhythms – Otopark (2015), a minimalistic visual and sonic installation held in an old parking garage in the city's Tophane district that was facing demolition. Erek used the venue as a site for impromptu concerts featuring other musicians, even after the Biennial closed in November. The latest version, Room of Rhythms – A Long Distance Relationship (2016) was created for an outdoor site on Cockatoo Island for the Biennale of Sydney, which opened in March. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized by Spike Island in Bristol, in 2014, and Kunsthalle Basel, in 2012.
Born in Istanbul, Erek studied architecture at Mimar Sinan University, and was a resident at Amsterdam's Rijksakademie in in 2005–2006. He received his graduate degree in Sound Engineering & Design from Istanbul Technical University – MIAM (Center for Advanced Studies in Music). A fixture of the Istanbul cultural scene as an artist, Erek also is the drummer in the popular Turkish prog-rock and metal band, Nekropsi. He currently teaches at Istanbul Technical University.
H.G. Masters is editor-at-large for ArtAsiaPacific.