Biennale Bregaglia 2022, curated by Bigna Guyer & Anna Vetsch // Publication: "Insieme congiunti. Places, Interventions" by Scheidegger & Spiess / Edizioni Casagrande

Anna Vetsch

Nevin Aladağ, Color Floating

Nevin Aladağ devotes special attention to the everyday in her work: time and again, the artist directs her gaze to everyday objects and knows how to cleverly expand their meanings. By also serving areas such as fashion and music in their everydayness, it is precisely these that come to the fore. The communal plays a central role. In a playful approach to the object, the artist repeatedly asks how identity and belonging are constituted. Humor is both a door opener and a bridge builder.

Color Floating is a reminder of the lamp design of the Dane Poul Henningsen from the early 1960s. Aladağ covered the lamps with colored nylon stockings, adding a soft, ornamental design language to the clean design and hard metal. The materiality and the shape may be irritating for the viewers: inside in the outdoor space, one associates them more with a cozy living room. Here, Aladağ raises the question of the habitability of the outdoor space on the one hand and the definition of the intimate on the other, as the lamp cover evokes (eroticized) thoughts of women's legs through the delicate, partly knitted nylon. As in her series of works Colors, created between 2008 and 2017, Color Floating is also based on current trend colors. These colors, set by fashion trends, and their combinations constantly attempt to reflect a social state of mind. In combination with the term colors, which is found in both titles, Aladağ also references skin colors and their diverse nuances. As if wearing a second skin color, the nylon stocking fits snugly against one's own skin.

Color Floating also refers to ambient light with its illumination, especially at night. Barely perceptible by day, the lamps glow softly into the night, countering the powerful flow of water with a poetic, tranquil note. Questions are raised about lighting at night: Which places take center stage by day, which by night? Furthermore, it can be asked who ultimately decides which places should be in our attention even without daylight and which ones remain in the dark, in the shadow of our perception. Outside the Bregaglia Biennale, the Maira, which accompanies the inhabitants to sleep at night, is not illuminated. During the day, however, it clearly marks its presence. Thanks to the two bridges, it has become a surmountable obstacle. The arched bridge was built in 1543 and is the only bridge that has survived every flood since then. In Vicosoprano, the Maira gains power from the inflowing water of the Albigna. The use of water power is a mainstay of the Bergell economy, but the watercourses also show their destructive side time and again.

Although they are mounted on a steel cable, Nevin Aladağ's two lamps swing gracefully lightly, like colored lanterns, above the wild river Maira, illuminating it in a direct and figurative way. They bring into focus the river that crosses the Bergell and bisects Vicosoprano, in its double-edged characteristics between blessing and threat.

Text by: Anna Vetsch

Biennale Bregaglia 2022, curated by Bigna Guyer & Anna Vetsch

Publication: "Insieme congiunti. Places, Interventions" by Scheidegger & Spiess / Edizioni Casagrande, July 2022