Independent Artist Statement


Visual Poet of Low-Lands // Poète Visuel des Terres-Basses

Site-specific Contemporary Archeologist

Pen-Woman at the Imaginary / Mythical Museum

Didem Erk I always try to emphasize 'how' a work is created in relation to other works, rather
than 'what' is created in each pieces of art-work. The idea of Border, Language, Memory and their interwined relationship with Contemporary Archeology is what I am focusing on. My body is a stylus, a Pen which writes in every-language, performs the performativity of memory. The idea of 'Trace' and Impermanency would be found in every visual, prose /poem and performance that I constantly perform / produce.

Research means a process, a form of investigation, collection of marks and searching for the right form and right word. Above all, I consider myself, as a conjunction, interpreter, translator, and a writer with diverse media. Every new piece adds a new word to my ever-expanding sentence. I work with text, video, found objects, performance, site-specific and performative installation methods to explore the ways in which the notion of border, memory, forgetting, knowledge writing and poetic aspects of language and literature relates to the multiple meaning of site. I work with linguistic memory with the residues and remains what can be remembered from what we have read, heard and besieged within the geography that surrounds me. My research investigates the contingency and fictional quality of memory and knowledge and performative quality of all remembering. My most prominent question is about the methods and strategies to explore site relational performative approach. I have been investigating in my recent works on the relations of the library and memory, library as a model memory and city as an open library that accumulates all the mythology, Official /Oral history, knowledge and forgetting.

I explore memory as the container that is some kind of a library and as an open city and collections of time and freezed in that space. But memory is a library that is already uncategorized, unfreezed, contains no genre, not in alphabetical order or in any order. In that sense, it is possible to create my own library in any space, canceling the space's original function and altering it to a production- reading or writing room.I mention about performance and memory at the same time because it is so challenging to create a work which uses the performative quality of all remembering.Remembering helps us to restage and restate what is lost; loss helps us to re-write the inescapable transformation.

Born 1986 in İstanbul, based in Thessaloniki & Datça // GR and TR


Sabancı University—Istanbul, TURKEY
MA - Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), Visual Arts and Communication Design

Sabancı University—Istanbul, TURKEY
BA - Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), Visual Arts and Communication Design

Past Collaborated Galleries

X-ist Gallery, Istanbul, 2016-2017

Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul- Berlin, 2018


2018 June-August, Terra Foundation For American Art, Giverny, France



2012 “IFEELIAMEATINGMEMORIES | SANKİANILARIYİYORUM”, M.A. thesis graduation exhibition, Fassart Gallery Sabancı University, İstanbul, Turkey


2018 November, The Unwritten Library: An Exhibition Trilogy, "AFTER BABEL", Megaron, Athens

2018 September-October 27," HOUSE OF WISDOM", Bonington Gallery, Notthingham

2018 August- September 31, "VIDEO ECHOES: WAVES FROM THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN", Counihan Gallery in Brunswick, Austuralia

2018 July-September, The Unwritten Library: An Exhibition Trilogy/ THE LAST READER, MEGARON, Annex M, Athens

2018, March, "Nonlinear Histories: Transgenerational Memory of Trauma", Los Angeles, ReflectSpace Gallery

2017, "House of Wisdom" | "Bilgelik Evi", Framer Framed, Amsterdam

2017, "TarraWarra International 2017: All that is Solid", TarraWarra Museum, Australia

2017, "Survival Kit", 4th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia

2017, "House of Wisdom" | "Bilgelik Evi", IKSV Building, Istanbul

2017, "Survival Kit", Space Depris Art, Istanbul

2017, "Black Noise" | "Siyah Gürültü", Aksanat, Istanbul

2017, "In the Blink of a Bird" | "Kuşla Göz Arasında", DEPO, Istanbul

2017, "House of Wisdom" | "Bilgelik Evi", Dzialdov, Berlin, Germany

2017, "Blow Up: Kavunu Gördüm", SALT Galata, Istanbul

2017, Are You Still Alive? – Voices of Conscience at a Time of Silencing, Steirische Kultur Initiative, Graz, Austria

2017, "Imago Mundi - Luciano Benetton Collection Mediterranean Routes", Zona Arti Contemporanee, Palermo, Italy

2016, "Stay with Me", Belvedere Museum, Vienna

2016, "Bir Zar atımı Asla Ortadan Kaldırmayacak Rastlantıyı // Un Coup de DéS Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard", Pilot, Istanbul

2016, "On Paper" | "Kağıt Üzerine", Mixer, İstanbul

2016, "Three Legged Table: An Organism" | "Üç Ayaklı Masa: Bir Organizma", REM Art Space, İstanbul

2016, "Stay with Me", De Kijkdoos Project space, Amsterdam

2015, 30 Years of Biennale “ Through the Barricades”, Fabbrica Del Vapore, Milan

2015, " Stay With Me", Museum Weserburg, Bremen

2015, "Every inclusion is an exclusion of other possibilities" | "Her tercih diğer ihtimaller için bir dışlamadır”, SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul

2015, “Performans Belleği”| “Performing Memory”, Plato Sanat, Istanbul

2015, "Uyuma Dayan!" | "Stay with me!" , DEPO, Istanbul

2015, “Pop-up Exhibition" | "Pop-up Sergi”, KARGART, Istanbul

2014, “La Sovversione Del Sensibile" | "Subversion of the Sensible”, Fabbrica Del Vapore, Milan

2014, “Stay with me”, Apartment Project, Berlin

2014, “Carte Blanche To Nil Yalter”, GALERIST, Istanbul

2013, 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, Am I a Barbarian? | Anne, Ben Barbar mıyım?”, ARTER, Istanbul

2013, “Bufferzone: Checkpoint | Bufferzone: Kontrol Noktası”, DEPO, Istanbul

2013 “Sketching the Bufferzone” POLISTAR, Istanbul

2013, “Taking Site”, 5533, Istanbul

2013 “There is no history now”, Mamut Art Project, ANTREPO 3, Istanbul

2012 “OFFSIDE EFFECT” 1st Tbilisi Triennial, Center of Contemporary Art, Tbilisi, Georgia

2012 “Borders and Orbits 12 |Sınırlar ve Yörüngeler 12”, SIEMENS SANAT, Istanbul

2011 “SYMBIOSIS” XV Biennale de la Méditerranée |XV. Avrupalı ve Akdenizli Genç Sanatçılar Bienali, Port of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

2009 “Debi | Flow”, SABANCI MUSEUM, Istanbul


2018, "GECE" / "NIGHT", Collaborative Performance, Réalisateur/Curator/Artist: Didem ERK,  Datça / Turkey

2012 “Offside Effect”, 1st Tbilisi Triennial , “Acting in the Library | Kütüphaneyi Sahnelemek” with İnci Eviner, Center of Contemporary Art, Literature Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia

Other Actions

April 2012, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Tristan Bera “121st Night” | “121. Gece” Project Manager and organization with Mari Spirito, PROTOCINEMA, Istanbul

March 2010, Assistance of Slought Istanbul (Hermann Nitsch, Dennis Oppenheim, Werner Herzog, Vito Acconci), Kasa Gallery, Istanbul

2009- 2011, Assistantship of Kasa Gallery, Istanbul


Erk, Didem. I Feel I Am Eating Memories: The Boundary Between. Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2013. ISBN:978-3-659-34001-7


2013 May “ Taking Site”, workshop 5533 – D21, Istanbul-Leipzig

2013 April-May “BUFFERZONE”, workshop in Nicosia and Istanbul, Apartmant Project&EMAA&Uqbar

2012 April-October, “Acting in the Library | Kütüphaneyi Sahnelemek” with İnci Eviner, Istanbul, Turkey

Panel - Forum

October 2012, Forum, Acting in the Library, 1st Tbilisi Triennial Offside Effect, Goethe Institute Tbilisi, Georgia

December 2012, Panel, Acting in the Library | Kütüüphaneyi Sergilemek, Kadir Has University, Istanbul-Turkey

Artist Talk

September 2017, HOME IS A PLACE CALLED NEVER, X-ist, Istanbul

March 2017, Are You Still Alive? – Voices of Conscience at a Time of Silencing ,Graz, Austria

May 2013 “ Taking Site”, workshop 5533 – D21, Istanbul-Leipzig


2017, Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair

Agah Uğur Collection

Saruhan Doğan Collection