In his works, Alpin Arda Bağcık questions the truth of knowledge production, especially the images circulating in the media and the myths or conspiracy theories around them. His paintings take inspiration from defining moments in the history of the 20th century. While the historical moments are often the driving force behind his paintings, Bağcık invokes the numbing effects of the media in the 21st century. Consequently, the artist names his artworks after antipsychotics and antihistamine drugs such as Zopiklon, Metilfenidat, Imovane or Ritalin.
The theorist Jean Baudrillard mentions the strength of propaganda imagery in the book The Gulf War Did Not Take Place. According to the theorist, during the First Gulf War, the stylized media (misre)presentations generated a simulacrum of war, a video game, far from the reality. Similarly, in Apocrypha, Bağcık concentrates on the notion of post-truth as well as stories such as world domination—the claims on a single totalitarian authority holding power. Taking the word apocrypha, removing its Biblical context, the artist alludes to the distortion and manipulation of word(ing)s and images to the extent that they become bereft of meaning.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, post-truth (chosen as the Word Of The Year 2016) is defined as “[r]elating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” In 2015, a Syrian refugee Anas Modamani posed for a selfie with Angela Merkel. Subsequently, the image was used against the Chancellor, as a result of the fake reports spread through the social media, claiming that Modamani was linked to ISIS. In Medazepam (2019) Bağcık reminds us the fragility and absurdity of the stories around the circulating images. In the artist book Diazem (2019) the artist focuses on fake news from the Turkish media that were used to construct or reinforce specific conspiracies or world views.
Whether it’s The New World Order or the figure of Antichrist, such scenarios give rise to misreported realities. The series of monochrome paintings investigate strong beliefs around certain conspiracies. The (baroque) painting Amitriptilin (2019) depicts world leaders at a meeting. Reminiscent of cults, bodies that give references to contemporary figures gather around a glaring globe, a few are resting their hands on it. Gazes at various directions, none of the them communicate with each other.