ÇIN, Cevdet Erek, 2017
Architectural intervention and 35 channel sound
Wood, scaffolding, iron, wire fence, fabric net, directional loudspeakers, computer, light
Dimensions and durations variable
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 an 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.”
27 February 2017, press conference of ÇIN, İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, Istanbul
“Instead of trying to describe a project that is meant to be experienced on-site, and is still in the phase of formation, I propose to imagine a scene together as an exercise: There is a fenced ruin in the distance with a guard inside of it who should not leave during the day. The guard, while walking in silence, notices a visitor who carefully peeks around and the concert of thousands of crickets thanks to the visitor. This duo, who try to talk to each other at a distance, briefly cry out at the same time from the ear pain caused by a violent noise that occurs out of the blue. Then, at night, in another place as the officer tries to suppress the ringing in her ears by opening the window two fingerbreadths and the noise a notch, enters an alarm sound: ‘viyuviyuviyuviyu’. Then she tries to imagine again in the same order by going back to the beginning.”
8 February 2017, the catalogue text for the Biennale Arte 2017, Istanbul
In the midst of a series of events displaying great intensity and as the most recent jolt thrusts the previous one further into the past and the fabricator of tales conjures up the next part in the series, we travel into the distant past via history and remains and by way of a narrative ruled by war and death, as we imagine — from a distance, and on the basis of likenesses and simulations — the pavilion with neighbours from afar as though we were moving inside it without covering our ears after being reset with a new jolt we open the latest recorded version of this file (silence) 16 Jan 2017.
A gap is left open between the doors along the two long sidewalls of the pavilion for viewers to pass through. Sources of times and signals that will reverberate in the entire space are installed on top of a platform constructed above this transit zone. On the platform there is a permeable inner façade from which will emanate ornamentations made of sound. The platform can be accessed via steps or ramps. Sampled architectural elements will enter into the space with their bodily memories. The direction and speed of the movement routes of the bodies in this space are loose, and conducive to loops.
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Aralarından geçtikten sonra çınların kendileri değil ama bütününün çınlamaları kulaktaki çınlamaya karışacak*
Then, perhaps, followed by a çınnn from a phone, or a concert of thousands of crickets held at stairs in ruins one cannot enter, and at this point, Zang Tumb Tumb is evoked, and just as one expects yet another çın, the sound chokes çı-çı-çı-çı, and the drummer in the battlefield scene stops drumming with a momentary hesitation of her left hand - may the war end.
(silence) 8 Feb 2017
* When passing through the façade not the individual dings, but rather the collective reverberation of them should blend with the tinnitus.