• Born 1949 in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Based in Berlin, Germany
  • Photo: Serdar Tanyeli/Istanbul

Ayşe Erkmen excels in creating artwork out of simple contrivances, such as the temporary relocation of objects based on her careful interpretations of a site’s hidden context. At the 2017 Skulptur Projekte Münster, she immersed ocean cargo containers in an inland harbor separating the city’s commercial and industrial districts, allowing visitors to cross between them by walking on the surface of the water—a chasm that would normally be impassable. At the 54th Venice Biennial in 2011, she employed pumps to draw seawater from the neighboring canal, filtering the “City of Water’s” water via a series of pipes brought into the exhibition space. With its use of water purification systems developed in Germany to secure drinking water for conflict zones, the work asked its viewers to consider the relation of the interior and the exterior, seawater and purified water, disparities in technology across nations, and so on.

Selected Works

Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017, Münster, Germany
Culture City of East Asia 2016, Nara, Art Celebration in Nara – Beyond Time and Space, Saidaiji Temple, Nara, Japan
54th Venice Biennial, Pavilion of Turkey, Venice, Italy
  • On Water, 2017
  • Photo: Roman Mensing/Münster