Paranoid Fantasies, Real Plots
26/02/2022 - 30/04/2022
Zilberman Istanbul is pleased to present Alpin Arda Bağcık’s solo exhibition Paranoid Fantasies, Real Plots. You can visit his fourth solo show at Zilberman from February 26, 2022 to April 30, 2022 in the main gallery space on the third floor of the Mısır Apartment.
Paranoid Fantasies, Real Plots focuses on conspiracy theories specific to human healthcare issues. In his former works, the artist pointed out the post-truth era where media, poverty, and power relations affect the speed of generation of information and its authenticity. This time, he centers the exhibition upon this era’s prominent driver, on the conspiracy theories. The term paranoid fantasies, underline an approach that alienates or even satirizes unreal hypotheses on human health or allegations against the distrust of the healthcare industry propounded by conspirators. The phrase “real plots”, on the other hand, points out the atmosphere of uncertainty created by suspicious commercial tactics of the healthcare industry permeated by capitalism. Both of these conditions draw attention to an inevitable feeling of distrust on health issues that has emerged within the society.
Today this phenomenon accelerated by COVID-19 has become tangled as a result of the involvement of other people and further events. Among many claims that may be closer to truth or far from it, Bağcık elaborates on the political, psychological, and sociological aspects of the human need to attach to a certain truth. Within this framework the artist adopts an approach that questions the absolute and objective understanding of reality and always remains skeptical in terms of the accuracy and validity of any kind of information. In other words, Bağcık is located at an equal distance between the groups who passionately conspire and those who believe that conspiracies are jibberish, thus he invites the audience to look at the issue from a middle point.
In Hidroksiklorokin, the artist makes use of an illusion by transposing onto his canvas a photo taken in the early 20th century during the Spanish flu thataffected the whole world. Tipping a wink to his monochromatic works, the artwork creates new potentialities to read the past and the present, the reality and its distortion. Accordingly, the work that appears as a chromatic piece from afar bears a resemblance to the present time, whereas in a closer look it retreats into the past it belongs to revealing a monochromatic work.
In the series Favipiravir, Bağcık shows an installation representing disinformation and image pollution spread and multiplied by the impact of media and the internet that play a significant role in manipulating people. The aggressive, bombardment-like sharing and broadcasting lead to the bending of reality and often to estrangement from the truth within the society. The post-truth era which is speculative by its nature is nourished by conspiracy theories. Hence, in his Favipiravir series, the artist discusses some of the news that have not lost their actuality yet. Among these allegations are 5G towers, anti-vax protests, vaccination propaganda, the hypothesis about an artificial virus being lab-leaked, and the chemical content of the vaccination. These theories sometimes reach such an extreme level that they reflect onto canvas as surreal visuals.
Conspiracy theorists tend to bring together and associate several theories in order to support their arguments that frequently fail to rely on rational reasoning. This is emphasized in the Remdesivir series in the exhibition. This claim entitled Chemtrail theory is about high-flying aircrafts’ long-lasting condensation trails are sprayed chemicals has evolved into a theory in which the disease is spread from these condensation trails. Remdesivir directs human gaze looking for a complicated story behind a basic sky image towards a mystical skepticism.
Another significant actor of the epidemic, for which conspiracies were produced, is Bill Gates. He has been targeted by the public due to his foresight of the current pandemic and his commentaries on possible vaccination scenarios he made years ago. According to this theory he proposes a new technology with the intention of implanting microchips into the human body in disguise of vaccination. This hypothesis, heavily used by the anti-vaxers, gets updated by the obscurity of technology and the influence of popular figures, and takes the discussion to a new level. Bağcık portrays Bill Gates in Librium, projecting the problematic of distortion of both information and image as something is infinitely multiplied by the media. The artist uses a portrait of Gates frequently encountered in this regard by deforming the image in each subsequent copy, thus referring to the manipulation of information.
To underline the anesthetic effect of the media, Bağcık focuses on new world balances through concepts such as post-truth and authority. He emphasizes the pacification and manipulation of society by expressions and images that lose their meaning over time, using pencil drawing and oil on canvas techniques in his works. He incorporates familiar figures, world leaders, people who have left their mark in history, and turning points in his work by blending them with real or unreal stories.
Alpin Arda Bağcık (1988, Izmir, Turkey) graduated from the Painting Department at Dokuz Eylül University in 2007. He currently lives and works in Istanbul. His solo exhibitions and presentations include Apocryphon, (Zilberman, Istanbul, Turkey, 2019) Apocrypha (Zilberman, Berlin, Germany, 2019), Red Prescription (Zilberman, Istanbul, Turkey, 2017), and Ambivalence (Zilberman, Istanbul, Turkey, 2015). He has participated in various group exhibitions including: Aralarında Recurrence 2 (küratör: Lotte Laub, Zilberman, Berlin, Almanya, 2021), 6 Sanatçı Öncülünü Arıyor (curator: Hasan Bülent Kahraman, Akbank Sanat, Istanbul, Turkey, 2020), Unlock (Zilberman, Istanbul, Turkey, 2020), The Union: A Selection from the Erol Tabanca Collection, curator: Haldun Dostoğlu, OMM-Odunpazarı Modern Museum, Eskişehir, Turkey, 2019), Young Fresh Different 10: One Must Continue (curator: Burçak Bingöl, Zilberman, Istanbul, Turkey, 2019), Motherland in Art (MOCAK, Krakow, Poland, 2018), Darağaç III (Izmir, Turkey, 2018), Remote Memory (curator: Yaren Akbal, Abud Efendi Konağı, Istanbul, Turkey, 2018), Rotary Art Competition (Proje 4L, Istanbul, Turkey 2015), Borders and Orbits (Siemens Sanat, Istanbul, 2013), Violence (Contemporary Art Museum, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece, 2013), and Young Fresh Different-3 (Zilberman, Istanbul, 2012). His works are part of public and private collections such as, MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (Krakow, Poland), 21c Museum Hotels (Kentucky, The USA), OMM–Odunpazarı Modern Museum (Eskişehir, Turkey), Salsali Museum (Dubai, UAE) and PAPKO ART Collection (Istanbul, Turkey).
Please contact T. Melis Golar at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on the show.
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- Alpin Arda Bağcık