Meet Erdem Taşdelen, a Toronto-based, multimedia artist with a distinct ability for bringing ideas to life and creating projects that celebrate, encourage, and express solidarity.
Your work incorporates the use of text and language. Do you find words to be the ultimate form of self-expression?
Perhaps not the ultimate form, but a form I feel quite comfortable using. I’m not a visually oriented person; I make sense of the world through language.
What was the concept behind your Postures in Protest installation in Jim Deva Plaza last year?
Postures in Protest is a series of six double-sided light box signs that list 72 adverbs, all of which describe how individuals stage protests in the public realm.
What would you like the public to take away from that installation?
I wanted to make a work that looks to the past as well as the future: the words listed celebrate Jim Deva’s fight for equal rights, but they’re also meant as an encouragement for those fighting various forms of discrimination today. I hope that people see the work and feel a sense of pride in their resistance against bigotry.
How have your Turkish roots influenced your art?
I feel like that’s something I might only be able to identify with clarity later on in my life… But for the moment I’d say growing up with two languages has stimulated my interest in making cultural observations wherever I’m situated.
What’s your favourite word?
I don’t think I have a favourite word but the one I use most often is probably “inanılmaz” – a Turkish word that translates as “unbelievable.” It’s quite versatile if you use it by itself; it might mean something is so fantastic you can’t believe it, or it’s so terrible you don’t even know where to begin, or it’s just plain unfathomable.
More on Erdem Taşdelen here