Of all the arguments and attempts to separate the human from other living things one might possibly rescue the specificity of our relationship with distance. The rescue does not answer of course to an alignment with the hierarchic and violent system of the anthropological machine that underlies any attempt of separation between living beings, but aims to recognize the importance of the uniqueness of this relationship in our formation as a species that sometimes is able to think collectively. Since its primary survival feature as hunters with spears, our alliance with distance has specialized and diversified exponentially accompanying the development of language and tools. The ambition to conquer distance has a very problematic historical and political genealogy related to imperialism, right up to the present magic trick of disappearing or eliding distance with digital communication technologies. But distance only really disappears or appears if there is a body on the other side of the machine.
Can a long distance relation to a space be trusted to a machine without a human coordinate? Or is the machine only effective as a prostetic of an active communicating body? In A Long Distance Relation, Cevdet Erek (Istambul, 1974) aims to get the maximum out of a human comunication through digital means connected to very physical conditions: the architectural and acoustic conditions of a space- the Sound Eexperimentation Space at MUAC. What becomes of improvisation under this conditions? Erek has started a long distance conversation with local artists: the percussionist Iván Manzanilla, the architect Adalberto Charvel, curator Alejandra Labastida and other who are added on the flow that will culminate in a site specific work at the EES. Erek ´s own background on architecture and music is always present in his work and will operate on this occasion through the borrowed eyes, ears and hands of the collaborators in order to use the materiality of the EES not only as a reproduction device but as an instrument. The multiple layers and agents of coming together on a creative process such as this one, evoked by the specific choice of the word relation instead of relationship in the English title is lost in the translation to Spanish since there is only one word for this notion but hopefully will reappear in the relationship of the viewer with the work.
Cevdet Erek’s installations and performances were shown in dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), Istambul Biennial (2003, 2013 and 2015), Sydney Biennial (2016), Sharjah Biennial (2013), Stedelijk Museum (2014), MAXXI (2014 and 2015), Istambul Modern (2014, 2015 and 2016), Arter (2011), SALT (2012 and 2015) among others. Major solo exhibitions of his work were organised by Spike Island in Bristol (2014) and Kunsthalle Basel (2012). His published books are SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack (2008, BAS), Room of Rhythms 1 (2012, Walther König) and Less Empy Maybe (2015, Revolver/Artist). His SSS) – Shore Scene Soundtrack was the recipient of Nam June Paik Award given by Kunststiftung NRW (2012). Excerpts of Cevdek Erek’s soundtrack to the Turkish political thriller Frenzy (written and directed by Emin Alper, Special Jury Prize, 72nd Venice Film Festival, 2015) was released by Subtext Recordings in 2016.
Cevdet Erek graduated as an architect at Mimar Sinan University while he was a member of the experimental rock band Nekropsi. He received his graduate degree in Sound Engineering & Desing (2003) from Istambul Technical University – MIAM (Center of Advanced Studies in Music) and worked as a researcher in the institution untill 2011. He was an artist in residence at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 2005-2006. He currently lives in Istambul and continues to work as a lecturer at Istambul Technical University. Cevdet Erek ´s most recent work is a new project for the Pavillion of Turkey at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 and his new solo drumming album “Davul” released by Subtext Recordings.