Trained as a sculptor at the Fine Arts Academy in Munich, Aaladağ adopts different mediums in her works, which vary from video, photography, sculptures, objects, performance pieces, site specific installations and public interventions. Aaladağ is interested in how cultural and social signs are used and interpreted. She employs these signs within her art practice, placing them in a context where they no longer belong to a specific territory, thus becoming images and ideas equipped with visual rhetoric.
“Significant Other” (2011), a video work in the exhibition, takes its cue from the infamous Milli Vanilli song “Girl you know it’s true.” In the work two actors, a man and a woman, stand on a small podium performing the chorus of the song.
Is there anything more faithful, more emotional, more beautiful than a man singing a love song to the woman he adores? In 1989 Milli Vanilli hit the charts worldwide with this single, but a year later their success turned to infamy when it was revealed that the lead vocals on the record were not the actual voices of the singers. Milli Vanilli had cheated a worldwide public by using playback recordings.
Astonishingly, one of the biggest frauds in the history of pop music relied on the confession of true love. But let us not fall for easy conclusions here. This work does not simply set the “fake” against the “authentic.” Pop music’s magic lies in the fact that it promises to address the individual (you) as well as the whole planet. We all know this is a lie, but it’s one we believe in.
Aladag’s strategy is far more refined, as she takes pop music’s promise to be a universal language literally. After the opening song of “Significant Other,” we hear different people reflect on the topics of love and relationships with all the vocals lip-synched by the two protagonists. We see the lips of the male actor move, but we hear a woman’s voice. We see the female actor, but we hear a child’s voice, a foreigner’s voice etc. The effect is irritating and leaves us asking ‘who is talking here?’
Read more Hurriyet Daily News: Artist Nevin Aladağ’s Show Exhibit in Istanbul