Alpin Arda Bağcık: Paranoid Fantasies, Real Plots

Alpin Arda Bağcık: Paranoid Fantasies, Real Plots
26 February–30 April 2022
Zilberman Gallery
İstiklal Cad. No.163
Mısır Apartmanı K.3 D.10

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 centres the exhibition upon this era’s prominent driver, on the conspiracy theories.

Alpin Arda Bağcık. Courtesy Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul.

The term paranoid fantasies, underline an approach that alienates or even satirises 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 that affected the whole world. Tipping a wink to his monochromatic works, the artwork creates new potentialities to read the past and the present; 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 emphasised 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.

©2022 Alpin Arda Bağcık, Zilberman Gallery

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