Emily Carr University graduate exhibited at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver

Emily Carr University

from The Source, a forum for diversity:

“In the upcoming exhibitions, running from Jan. 13–Mar.17 at the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG), Wild Child and The Quantified Self Poems redress our preoccupation with labeling. “The two projects are conflated in some ways,” says Taşdelen.

Always curious, the Emily Carr University graduate approaches his ideas through research – first through the subjects that interest him, followed by his analysis of the desired artistic process. This is how Wild Child came to be. Taşdelen decided to look into the premise of feral children.

“There is no such thing as a feral child. They are mostly hoaxes, myths or misunderstood cases,” he says after doing some extensive research. However, in one slightly unique case based on An Historical Account of the Discovery and Education of a Savage Man by Jean Marc Gaspard Itard (1798), the author provided care to a person he thought to be feral. Itard, a physician, believed the boy needed to be “civilized”; however, developmental psychologists have established that this was possibly the first documented case of autism. “Realistically, he was most probably a child abandoned by his family, left on the side of the road, due to his autism,” Taşdelen says.

Intrigued by the story, Taşdelen decided to explore this concept of “othering” with a video production. Once he decided on the medium, he approached the Contemporary Art Gallery. Shaun Dacey, curator at the CAG. “These works speak to a broader context of ideas around the human condition. I’d known of his practice for quite some time and hoped that we could work with him,” says Dacey. Shortly after that Taşdelen approached them for support to produce Wild Child.

Read more about the Erdem’s work here.