Colors, 2008/2010

Installation view: Die Au, Vienna, Austria, 2013
Photo: Michael Strasser, 2013 | Bildrecht

11 lamps designed by Poul Henningsen, colored nylon stockings
32 x 65 x 65 cm (3 lamps PH 6½-6)
32 x 47 x 47 cm (2 lamps PH 5-4½)
32 x 47 x 47 cm (4 lamps PH 5)
20 x 40 x 40 cm (2 lamps 4/3)
Overall dimensions variable
Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary and Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul

In Nevin Aladağ's piece Colors we encounter colour on multiple levels. Phenomenologically we are confronted with a set of lamps whose luminosity and appearance was masked by coloured tights. Through the title alone (and its North American spelling), the artist embeds this work in a discourse around skin-colours and politics. Already in 1952 Ralph Ellison decries the social invisibility through a "wrong" colour of skin in his novel "Invisible Man". Moreover, Colors points to Dennis Hopper's movie "Colors" from 1988, which can be seen as a sociological study on colour in a metaphorical and literal sense: here gang life and graffiti are at stake. Furthermore, Aladag uses lamps that refer to Danish design icon Poul Henningsen's classics and makes them undergo a sculptural and gender loaded alteration. Colors brings therewith various readings of colouration together, on an epistemological, sociological and aesthetic level that let us question the (in)visibility of color. (Nico Anklam)

*1972 in Van, Turkey | Living and working in Berlin, Germany
Artist's website