October 19, 2004 - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - Ayse Erkmen
October 19, 2004

Ayse Erkmen

Ayse Erkmen
15 – 31 October 2004

60311 Frankfurt, Germany
phone: (+49-69) 29 98 82-0
fax: (+49-69) 29 98 82-240
welcome [​at​] schirn.de


Image: Ayse Erkmen, “durchnasst” (“soaked”) 2004, Foto: Norbert Miguletz    AYSE ERKMEN
“durchnasst” (“soaked”)

The Schirn presents “durchnasst” (“soaked”), a new work by Ayse Erkmen, which the artist has developed specifically for the Schirn Rotunda. The project fits into the series of works by Carsten Nicolai, Elmgreen & Dragset, Jeppe Hein, Olafur Eliasson, James Lee Byars, and Costa Vece realized at this location to date. For her work, Ayse Erkmen relies exclusively on the conditions of the location. From the circular area in front of the entrance zone of the Schirn, which is surrounded by big concrete columns, paths lead in all directions. Ayse Erkmen’s intervention transforms this panoptic waiting area into a stage that forces us to look at the ground and suggests a choreography based on an apparently aleatory score for each step. The paving stones arranged in concentric circles are replaced with dirty puddles and irregularly distributed loamy islands. The work draws on photographs of an unpaved street with shack-like houses in the background which Erkmen made in Pristina in the Kosovo. The dislocation of rooms or objects and their implementation into new contexts -in the present case: into the center of a Western financial metropolis – are an essential characteristic of the oeuvre of this artist who was born in Istanbul in 1949 and lives in Turkey and Germany.

Ayse Erkmen’s interventions are not only based on dislocation and implementation but often present themselves as obstacles to be overcome physically. The artist deliberately focuses the attention on the viewers’ physical reactions and thus intensifies the perception of the context which the objects radiate on. Her minimalist approaches trigger dialogues in various directions at a specific site, dialogues that may spring from the artifacts Erkmen positions strategically but do not suffice for a complete explanation of her work. Her projects always head for artistic contradictions which she installs in a given place or rather underlines by modifying this place.

She relies on an attitude which does without artistic products in the usual sense mostly. There are no works by her – Ayse Erkmen’s works belong to the past. With a few exceptions, they are temporary installations, pieces for a certain place and a certain time. It is a crucial part of her strategy that people can only report on them as soon as the exhibition is over. This allows radical and basic changes; the artist does not aim at any product but rather at a situation which illustrates a certain idea for a limited period. Though rooted in the tradition of Conceptual art, Ayse Erkmen’s work also defines itself as sculpture by oscillating between artistic objects and their environments. The almost aural presentation in the Schirn Rotunda underscores this context in a powerful fashion. Forming a kind of natural relief, the plastic material is subject to changes caused by the light on the surface of the water and the movements of the passers-by on the rough sand and clay mixture. The replacement of the original pavement turns out to be its accentuation rather – a discovery that can only be made after its restoration though.

Ayse Erkmen was born in Istanbul in 1949 and lives in Turkey and Germany. She has realized a number of outstanding works, e.g. for “Skulptur. Projekte in Munster” (1997), for which she had antique sculptures hanging from a helicopter flown over the city of Munster. For the Deutsche Bank series “Moment,” Ayse Erkmen realized the project “Shipped Ships” in 2002, for which three ferries were brought to Frankfurt by container ships from Japan, Italy, and Turkey and used as passenger ferries across the Main River for one month. With her numerous solo exhibitions such as the presentation at the Vienna Secession in 2002 and contributions to the biennials of Istanbul, Sao Paulo, Montreal, and Berlin, Ayse Erkmen numbers among the most important contemporary artists. She has been holding a professorship at the Stadelschule in Frankfurt since 2000.

DIRECTOR: Max Hollein

VENUE: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Rotunda (outdoor space).

INFORMATION: www.schirn.de

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
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