Pressemitteilung - The Blue Ballad

16/12/2021 - 12/02/2022

Zilberman Istanbul is pleased to announce Didem Erk’s upcoming The Blue Ballad* exhibition, which will take place in our project space from December 16, 2021 to February 12, 2022. Erk’s first exhibition in Zilberman, will present a performative installation to the audience.

The artist creates the exhibition by dwelling upon such topics as displacement, placelessness and timelessness, roots, memory, and language. Erk, merges these concepts into her installation using five senses and elements.

The exhibition which can be followed in two parts, consists in the first place, a bastion, soil, and a manuscript sheet full of memories, all of which represent the spirit of space and objects, reflecting the heavy weight migration and pain imposes in the mind. One of the artist’s ongoing works, Almost Blue series, involving found objects from the sea, also serves as an integrating element in the exhibition. In addition, at the action table in the space, letters that Erk collected from around Beyoglu can be found. Erk reminds us of dichotomies such as leaving or staying, being safe or in danger, dis/owning property, freedom or possessing by using her own methods to manipulate the letters written in different languages.

In the second part, the artist frees these feelings in a sense by disposing the found letters and the manuscripts into salty and lead-filled water. By repeating common cultural rituals such as bringing to the sea and making vows, the artist marks the futility of script and of speech through ink’s dissolving in the water, also liberating all the emotions in the writings.

I would spend so much time in Datça looking at the sea and the blue, merely looking. It is actually the feeling of the sea and migration that got me going. Migration is not necessarily moving from one place to another: it can also be mental, spatial, or spiritual.”

The exhibition, which uses collective subconscious to depict what the sea brings and takes away, invites the viewer to be a part of the performative installation at all times, except during Erk’s own performance to be realized at regular intervals. The Blue Ballad, which will open with the artist’s performance on December 16, 2021 at 19:30, can be seen until February 12, 2022 at Zilberman Projects, located on the second floor of Mısır Apartment.

*Ballad is a form of verse set to music. At the present time, it specifies a music genre that is slow and soulful.

Special thanks to Metin Mızraklı, Aslan Gülçiçek, Duygu Beşbıçak, and MG Fragrances for their contribution to the exhibition.

For more information about the exhibition, please contact Melis Golar at

Didem Erk (b. 1986, Istanbul) lives and works in Istanbul. She completed her graduate and postgraduate studies in Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design department at Sabancı University. Artist’s selected exhibitions include: “Words Are Very Unnecessary” (Arter, 2020), 5x5x5 program as part of Manifesta 12 (Palermo, Sicily, 2018), “Video Echoes: Waves from the Eastern Mediterranean” (Counihan Gallery, Brunswick, Australia, 2018), “Nonlinear Histories: Transgenerational Memory of Trauma'' (ReflectSpace Gallery, Glendale, CA, USA, 2018), “TarraWarra International 2017: All That is Solid…” (TarraWarra Museum of Art, Australia, 2017), “Home Is A Place Called Never” (x-ist, İstanbul, 2017), “Are You Still Alive - Voices of Conscience at a Time of Silencing” (Steirische KulturInitiative, Graz, Austria, 2017), “Blow Up: Kavunu Gördüm” (SALT Galata, Istanbul, 2017), “House of Wisdom” (Berlin & Amsterdam, 2017), “Stay With Me” (Belvedere Museum-21er Haus, Vienna, 2016), “Mom, am I Barbarian?” 13th Istanbul Biennial, (Arter, Istanbul, Turkey, 2013).

Artist Pages
  - Didem Erk