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Erdem Tasdelen, Wild Child

Erdem Taşdelen, Wild Child (2015), two HD videos [Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Jan 13-Mar 19] Courtesy of the artist

Erdem Taşdelen: Wild Child/The Quantified Self Poems

Contemporary Art Gallery
Vancouver BC – Jan 13-Mar 19, 2017

Erdem Tasdelen, The Quantified Self Poems

Erdem Taşdelen, The Quantified Self Poems (2016), screen prints [Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Jan 13-Mar 19]

In this exhibition Toronto-based Taşdelen presents two works with roots in texts. In the Events Room is Wild Child (2016), a two-channel video based on An Historical Account of the Discovery and Education of a Savage Man (1802) by Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, while in the Window Spaces is The Quantified Self Poems (2016), a collaborative work made with an app and the poet Daniel Zomparelli.

Those familiar with the feral child will recall the story of Itard, a French physician who took under his wing a “wild child” found in the forests of Aveyron. Itard believed he could “civilize” the boy through language, only to give up when the boy proved to be incapable of speech. In Taşdelen’s adaptation, one video documents actors auditioning for the roles of Itard and the boy, while another features a relaxing sequence of undisturbed nature images.

The second work – displayed in the CAG’s exterior window boxes – is a series of 12 screen prints made over the summer of 2016, when Taşdelen was entering his moods thrice daily into the “Emotion Self” self-improvement app. With his responses recorded, the app produced its own (numerical) responses, effectively “quantifying the unquantifiable.” Working with programmer Ali Bilgin Arslan and words pulled from a unique dictionary by Zomparelli, Taşdelen turned his feelings into poems.


Michael Turner

 Wed, Feb 8, 2017