smba: eylem aladogan
19 Sep - 24 Oct 2004

SMBA opens the new season with Army of Me, a solo project by the young artist Eylem Aladogan (b. Tiel, 1975).

Opening: Saturday September 18,
5-7 p.m.

Aladogan transforms SMBA into a futuristic, sculptural environment that encloses viewers, transporting them into 'a different reality', as the artist herself puts it. This all-over approach is typical of Aladogan's work. As such, she occupies a special place in Dutch sculpture. The exhibition is the culmination of almost two years of experimentation and research.

At a time when news bulletins are awash with images of armed interventions and reports of terror and violence, Aladogan explores the manifestation of contemporary, high-tech warfare and military symbolism. Her studio at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam is strewn with images: infrared shots of landscapes, satellite images, photographs of explosions, ads for bombs and other instruments of war. Aladogan translates these images into her own sculptural idiom in which forms from reality are simplified into symbols and archetypes.

The baleful impact of Aladogan's symbolic world is almost palpable, and yet - paradoxically enough - it is also breathtakingly beautiful. An enormous B-2 Stealth bomber made of mother-of-pearl coloured plastic towers above a massive (ceramic) rocky landscape. In the rear gallery a mysterious star twinkles. The walls are hung with flags bearing the militant heraldry of some unknown regiment. Aldogan's new project inhabits the border area between beauty and destruction, light and dark. SMBA Newsletter No. 82, containing an essay by Carel Blotkamp, will be published to coincide with the exhibition.

The exhibition was made possible in part by the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, the VSBfonds and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten.