Viron Erol Vert, "The Hermit", 2023. Installation view at ΕΜΣΤ. Photo by Paris Tavitian

VIRON EROL VERT. THE HERMIT

Project Room 1-3rd floor

EΜΣΤ is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Greece of the visual artist Viron Erol Vert, entitled The Hermit. Raised between Germany, Turkey and Greece in an intercultural family and environment, Vert’s artistic interests oscillate between religious systems, cultural identity, and language. The artist’s multicultural background plays a key role in his research and work, as does his close connection to the various sub-cultural contexts of Berlin’s club scene.

Viron Erol Vert’s site-specific immersive installation, The Hermit (2023), is created especially for the museum and is inspired by the work of Iannis Xenakis, the subject of two major exhibitions at EΜΣΤ in 2023-24. It aims to explore several aspects of the avant-garde composer, architect and mathematician’s practice as well as highlight the influence he has had on contemporary musicians and sound artists.

In his research, Vert focused particularly on Xenakis’ early works such as Six chansons pour piano (1950-51) a short piano suite, which contains many elements of Romanian and Greek folk music. At the time of the piece’s composition, Xenakis stated that he was searching for his cultural roots: “I was trying to find my identity, and my Greek origins suddenly became important to me; […] Mussorgsky and Bartók reminded me that I had to understand and love Greek folk music.” Subjects such as belonging, migration, speech sound, beat, and the rhythm of his native geography were analysed in Xenakis’ early compositions. All constitute, in one way or another, cornerstones of his work.

The process of searching for one’s cultural roots and identity is something Vert personally relates to due to the complex nature of his own background. Coming from Turkish, Greek, Arab, Levantine, Armenian, and Sephardic roots, Vert recognised in these early works of Xenakis, a curious, and experimental approach that resonated with him, qualities that inform The Hermit.

Vert’s installation brings together different elements that Xenakis also deployed in his practice, such as architectural models, mathematics, geometric shapes or, for example, the Fibonacci sequence (in which each number is the sum of the two preceding ones).

The Hermit, ultimately, is an immersive, interactive gathering space with a nightclub-inspired aesthetic which will be filled with sounds composed by contemporary experimental musicians (both local and international). At the same time, the six windchimes at its centre, transform the space itself into a musical instrument. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves and enjoy the enveloping audio-visual environment the artist has created.

The exhibition will be activated on several occasions throughout its duration with live music performances.

Sound artists participating in the project: Agatha & Kristianna Tsimpi, Korhan Erel, Franziska Lantz, Alexander Stewart / Ge1, Saint Precious, André Vida

Curator: Ioli Tzanetaki

BIOGRAPHIES OF SOUND ARTISTS

Viron Erol Vert
Viron Erol Vert (b. 1975 in Varel/Germany) was raised in an inter-cultural family environment, between the north of Germany, Istanbul and Athens, Viron Erol Vert currently lives and works between Berlin and the Mediterranean region. In his artistic practice, he deals with the questioning of identity and affinity to different aspects and perspectives of the own and the foreign. His multicultural imprint plays a key role in his research processes, as does his close connection to various club cultural contexts in Berlin. Vert’s works, which are fundamentally characterised by the state and atmosphere of being in-between, weave together different cultures, materials, languages, forms of expression, ways of seeing, and views of life into a hybrid, complementary identity. In his artistic work, Vert seeks to reveal and transcend abstract and theoretical boundaries in order to enrich life with acoustic, social, and physical imaginaries, such as pictorial and sculptural spaces.

His solo exhibitions include Atoms, Souls, Senses, Villa Romana, Florence, Italy (2022) The Chronicler, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany (2014), Born in the Purple, Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2017), The Name of Shades of Paranoia, Galerie Wedding, Berlin, Germany (2017). In addition, Vert has participated in international group exhibitions, including The Conundrum of Imagination, Leopold Museum, Vienna, Austria (2017), DE-HEIMATIZE IT!, 4.Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin, Germany (2019), A Handful Of Dust, Ehrenhalle, Berlin, Germany (2020), and 4+3=1, SAVVY Contemporary, Germany (2022). In 2018 Vert presented his exhibition project Ambereum for the first time at the 1st International Riga Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA) and in 2019-2022 in collaboration with the Art & Activism Department of Roskilde Festival, Denmark.

Vert is a recipient of the Villa Romana Prize (2018) and received the LETTE Foundation Ludwig Gies Prize for Small Sculpture in 2022. He was a fellow at the Tarabya Cultural Academy, Istanbul (2020 and 2021) and at Urbane Künste Ruhr, Mülheim a.R. (2021-2022). In 2022, Vert was a fellowship holder of the Künstlerhaus Schloß Balmoral and in 2023 he received the Kunst am Bau Contest from the Orient Institut Istanbul and the Tarabya Cultural Academy. Currently, Vert is a scholarship holder of the Academy Schloss Solitude.

Agatha & Kristianna Tsimpi
Agatha is a sound designer and music producer based in Athens. Their practice has developed through engagement with sound and music as a band member (Agatha & Molyneaux and Plastic Flowers), an event organiser (KRAMA, Fauna Sauna, Power Dance Club, LGBTQI+ Refugees in Greece) as well as working on sound for theatre and films (more recently as a member of Eteria FIlon project at Epidaurus Festival). For the past two years and in collaboration with xfutrhug.co/Qreclaim, they are running workshops for individuals who are making their first steps in music production on Ableton.

Kristianna Tsimpi is a sound artist based in Athens. She has been producing dance music under the moniker Tanjie Kay, while also being involved with scoring films and performances such as Bone Selektor (2021) and JCSF (2022).

Korhan Erel
Korhan Erel is a non-binary electronic musician, improviser, composer and sound artist based in Berlin. Erel’s music covers free improvisation, conceptual sound performances as well as structured and composed pieces, music for contemporary dance, theater and video art. Erel performs solo, duo and group performances with musicians, dancers, in ensembles and orchestras. They have shown audiovisual and sound installations in Germany, Hong Kong and Turkey.

Besides many digital releases, Korhan has twelve CD and LP releases in Germany, Turkey, Portugal and Greece on ECM Records, Umland Records, FMR, Gruenrekorder, Evil Rabbit Records, Creative Sources Records, A.K. Müzik, Müzik Hayvanı and Kukuruku Recordings. Korhan has performed at Soundtrips NRW, Moers Festival, Labor Sonor, Klangzeit Festival, Kontraklang, Borusan Music House, XJAZZ, All Ears, New Adits, Akbank Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Teheran Digital Arts Exhibition and many more venues and festivals across Europe, Middle- East, Southeast Asia and North America.

Franziska Lantz
Franziska Lantz is a Swiss artist/ musician based in London. She merges visual and audio work in ritualistic installations and raw music performances. Lantz jams with drum machines and synthesisers, alienates her sounds with distortion and overloads her organic sets with echoing feedback.
She runs Global Warming Records, an experimental electronic music label, and since 2008 has been producing DriftShift, a weekly radio show on Londons ResonanceFm, from where she regularly broadcasts her analogue techno experiments into space.

Saint Precious
Saint Precious is a Swedish-Barbadian artist. Her work centers the living experience of being a black trans woman in the 21st century. With a focus on the voice way of moving through sounds and upcoming releases on Staycore her artistic aim is to expand the collective consciousness by making each individual listener understand her as a way to connect with their own innate divinity and ease within the complexity of being.

Alexander Stewart / Ge1
Alexander Stewart /. Ge1 [b. 1987 – Ottawa, Canada] is an audio / visual artist living and working in Berlin, Germany. His work focuses on a variety of methods for publication and distribution of sound and audio/visual information. He co-runs and co-operates an independent music publishing / distribution network, based in Berlin and has been in operation from 2015 until present.

André Vida
André Vida (b.1974) is a saxophonist, composer, and writer living in Berlin. Vida has created performance pieces focused on developing presence through the medium and materiality of scoring, physical gesture and the moment. Vida has performed widely as a soloist and has also collaborated with a diverse group of artists including Tarek Atoui, Rashad Becker, Kevin Blechdom, Anthony Braxton, Jamie Lidell and Hassan Khan. He has worked closely with Anri Sala on performances at the Serpentine Gallery in London, the New Museum and Buffalo Bayou Cistern.

Vida has been commissioned by Hyper! at The Deichtorhallen Hamburg, the Tri-Centric Foundation, Global Art Forum 7 and 10, the 8th Berlin Biennale, Eyebeam, and the European Sax Ensemble. A three-volume set of his work from 1995 – 2011 was released on PAN, his piece for 41 saxophones, Minor Differences, was released on Entr’acte, and he has been featured in The Wire, TANK, Monopol, and Electronic Beats.

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