Cevdet Erek: chiçiçiçichiciçi



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Iterations, a new series of commissioned performances, launches with a new work by Cevdet Erek.

A pencil sketch in a spiral notebook shows a schematic design for artist's Cevdet Erek's installation in the museum's Griffin Court.

Sketch for chiçiçiçichiciçi, 2018

Cevdet Erek

The new performance and installation by Cevdet Erek (Turkish, born 1974), chiçiçiçichiciçi, takes its cue from everyday life: how our footsteps strike the pavement, how our fingers gently play a railing or a fence, or how a small stone hitting a glass window makes a sharp sound when we try to get a friend’s attention in the middle of the night. Each sound—a percussive proposal—designates a different movement and a change in proximity to the objects we encounter to produce this daily symphony.

A black-and-white photograph shows and man with dark hair and a beard with his face turned to the side in profile.

Erek’s practice as a musician, architect, and visual artist revolves around sound as a measure for space, time, and the world around us. Erek’s new work, chiçiçiçichiciçi, uses the gallery wall in the museum’s Griffin Court as both instrument and musical score. Conflating representation and performance, Erek adds various forms of visual and written language to the wall that are meant to be interpreted as sound instructions, while the same wall is host to architectural interventions played in live performances as part of the installation. Erek’s own musical patterns and rhythms are integrated into Griffin Court to suggest a pace, to impact how our bodies navigate that space, and to designate our distance or proximity to architecture and sound.

chiçiçiçichiciçi is the first installment of Iterations, a series of new performance commissions. Erek opens the installation with a performance on February 28 at 6:00. Intermittent performances will be announced throughout the run of the installation.

About Iterations

The Art Institute of Chicago proudly presents Iterations, a series of seven new performances that stage the wide range of artistic practices and attitudes in performance today. Newly commissioned works by Alexandra Bachzetsis, Math Bass, Cevdet Erek, Ralph Lemon, Paulina Olowska, Cally Spooner, and Evelyn T. Wang—anchored in choreography, sound art, spoken word performance, installation, music, and gesture and movement research—explore how performance is situated in the context of the Art Institute of Chicago, in our distinct spaces and amid our wide-ranging collection.

The exhibition unfolds over the course of three years, with each performance piece taking on radically different frequencies and durations as well as occupying different areas: the museum’s galleries, interstitial spaces, and theaters. Through the process of commissioning—engaging in a long-term dialogue with artists about the conception, production of, and care for a new performance work at the Art Institute of Chicago—Iterations poses the questions of when and how but also where performance can take place at the museum.

Following the work of Cevdet Erek, Iterations continues in 2019 with the following presentations:

Cally Spooner
British, born 1983
DEAD TIME (a crime novel)
April 22–28
Performances daily
Gallery 188

Alexandra Bachzetsis
Swiss, born 1974
Chasing a Ghost
October 31–November 2
Performances daily
Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room

In 2020 and 2021 the exhibition brings new works by:

Math Bass (American, born 1981)
Ralph Lemon (American, born 1952)
Paulina Olowska (Polish, born 1976)
Evelyn T. Wang (Chinese, born 1982)


Iterations is made possible through the generous support of the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.


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