Erdem Taşdelen


A Vagrant Kind of Life

Slide projection and compositions with wooden letters and wall paint
70 slides, wall compositions: 39" x 26" (99 x 66 cm) each

A Vagrant Kind of Life is a poem comprising 70 lines, shown in the form of a slide projection with selected lines also displayed as wall compositions. The poem is revealed rhythmically through photographic slides, where each image features a single line laid out in the Montessori moveable toy alphabet, a pedagogical tool used for teaching small children how to read.

Using a descriptive and ornate linguistic style, the poem describes the state of a feral child, and is composed with excerpts from a book written in 1802 by French physician Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, titled An Historical Account of the Discovery and Education of a Savage Man. This book details the true story of Itard's mission to “civilize” a child that he believes to be feral, in which he devotes himself to teaching the boy language. He is ultimately left frustrated in his attempts, as the boy proves incapable of learning to speak.

Installation views: Burrard Arts Foundation, Vancouver, 2016. Photos by Dennis Ha.