Side by Side at 300m3 ART SPACE, Göteborg

Side by Side

‘Side by Side’

2009.05.08 – 2009.05.31

300m3, Göteborg, Sweden

Opening Friday May 8th, 18-22

Artist talk and performance 19:00


As an artist, architect and musician, Cevdet Erek composes and (re)composes his works as ingredients of grand ideas which are materialized through continuous output processes of intermediary products, in forms of performance, moving image, sounds and installations. He proposes the essence of original site-specific situations and subjects, resulting in innately human reflections on time and space.

Erek’s work and performances have been included in group exhibitions at Istanbul Bienali, Stedelijk Museum CS, ZKM, Platform Garanti, V2_, Martin Gropius Bau, MOMAS, Art Museum of Estonia, Living art Museum Rejkavik and others. His first solo exhibition took place at Galerie Akinci in Amsterdam in 2008. Erek was on residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2005 – 2006 and his installation ‘Studio’ was awarded the Uriot Prize 2005. Besides personal work, he collaborates with architects, directors, choreographers and Istanbul’s avantgarde rock act Nekropsi.

SSS, Shore Scene Soundtrack (2006- )

SSS is about mimicking the sea, or imitating a very common piece of nature, by using 2 hands and a piece of carpet. Installation includes the video of a recording session of SSS, a carpet to be used for the performance and drawings which were done for artist’s book ‘SSS – Theme and Variations for Carpet’. In the video, the carpet from artist’s living room, placed on a Steinway Grand Concert piano, is being rubbed by a half naked man, with a series of massage-like hand movements. A translation of nature takes via a process of recording, interpreting and playing back, through the ‘technology’ of humanity which captures the essence of the movement and sound of the sea as it laps the shore. The dramatic image is irregularly interrupted by some short scenes e.g. zooming in to the hands or showing the sound engineers located behind the glass of the recording room. Drawings from the book function as notations or guides for both hands’ movements on the carpet.

SSS (Shore Scene Soundtrack) ‘Themes and Variations for Carpet’ (2007)

‘SSS can be seen as an attempt to share a discovery. It explains in detail to the reader how one can mimic the sea, how this can be done simply for oneself or formally as a performance. In each case the emphasis is on delighting in this experience. The required state of mind for making the imitation is treated with the same precision as technique and necessary equipment. Humorously but without irony, Erek constructs a subjective guide by passing from a contemplation on the imitation of nature, through a step-by-step manual to a form of sheet music.’*

*from press release of the artist book SSS, by BAS Istanbul

Avluda / In the courtyard (2002)

In 2002, Erek was asked to propose a piece for Istanbul Pedestrian Exhibitions I: Nisantasi – in the context of “Personal Geographies, Global Maps”. For the exhibition, Erek selected and processed an archive of video footage and sound recordings which he made in two unused courtyards of ITU Macka building, in where he spent days and nights working as a researcher and recording engineer of ITU MIAM – Center For Advanced Studies in Music. The 3 synchronized videos and 6 channel sound consist of 6 sequences and Erek, with the support from video editor M. Bilginer, adapted several visual and temporal collage techniques in order to realize a panoptic experience. The installation was realized in a former chemistry laboratory, which was locked and forgotten for more than 15 years. Standing as Erek’s first public viewed experiment for capturing and reformulating a particular space and situation, Avluda creates an intense experience – playing with continuity and pause in time and space.


The Macka Arsenal, which was commissioned to the architect Sarkis Balyan in 1873 by the sultan Abdulaziz, is now located within the Istanbul Technical University Macka Campus and is used for educational purposes. The double courtyard was formed as a result of additional mid-20th Century constructions within the sizable building and possesses a completely different character than the exterior of the building (except the symmetric design of the facades). The courtyard possesses no other function than to provide air and light for the surrounding classrooms and hallways. The school’s residents, i.e. the students and employees, (strangers have no reason to enter this semi public area) simply look out at this courtyard although entry into it is not forbidden. One cannot see the street from the courtyard(s), and the surrounding walls filter out all outside noises except faint echoes of the call to prayer, powerful car horns and ship sirens, and the sound of football crowds at the Inonu and Ali Sami Yen stadiums. The courtyard stands silent and empty.’*

*Erek’s description of the building from the catalog Istanbul Pedestrian Exhibitions I: Nisantasi (2002)

Avluda 2 – Ceasless (2009)

After years, while working in a room with a view at one of the courtyards subjected in Avluda (2002), Erek hears some shouts, and sees a demonstration by a group of students, protesting the badly wounding of a student by a nationalist group of students. Students tour the corridors surrounding the courtyard while shouting the typical socialist slogan ‘side by side, against fascism!’. Contrasting the heavy structure and a very inhabited building in Avluda (2002), the very simply edited Avluda 2 – Ceaseless becomes a typical representative of Erek’s never ending work idea.