Vasiyetimdir: Erdem Taşdelen

During the Q&A following an artist talk I gave last week, a young man raised his hand and said: “I would like to talk a little bit about the aspect of control in your work. It seems to me that you are very preoccupied with setting things up so that you have ultimate control. Why does that matter to you so much?” I was feeling pretty satisfied with all the answers I had given up until that point, but this was a hard one.

I have spent the last two weeks pondering how to respond to this invitation to consider what happens to my work after I cease to exist. I have decided that I don’t really care all that much. Perhaps when I die I can finally just let go.

Erdem Taşdelen (b. Ankara, 1985) is an artist based in Toronto, Canada. His multidisciplinary practice involves a range of media including installation, video, drawing, sculpture, sound, and artist books. He uses text and language in various forms to conduct subtle inquiries into subjectivity and its representations. His diverse projects, characterized by a mordant humour, also involve him in a reflective process that brings self-expression into question within the context of culturally learned behaviours.

Vasiyetimdir* is a publication project that aims to explore how art works will subsist over long periods of time. Art works live in artist studios, private collections, museums, storage spaces, or simply in memories. But how far do the artists want to control what happens to their works when they are no longer? How do they want to exert their control? We directed these questions to the artists we are in dialogue with. We are accumulating their answers through

*Vasiyetimdir is a Turkish phrase that can roughly be translated into English as “It is my will that…” The phrase holds a tint of the melodramatic, mixed with a sentimental flair.

Vasiyetimdir was conceived by Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Özge Ersoy, and Merve Ünsal.