Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space presents the first solo exhibition in the UK of Turkish artist Nevin Aladağ, bringing together recent video and sculptural works that explore sound, rhythm and music.

Nevin Aladağ: Fanfare includes the artist’s playful video work Traces (2015), an audio-visual portrait across three projections that depicts the urban landscape of Stuttgart in Germany, the city of her childhood. Here a series of instruments are played, not by musicians, but by the city itself: a tambourine bounces down a deserted street; an accordion hangs from a lamppost; a violin revolves on a spinning merry-go-round. By establishing playful and contingent musical situations, Aladağ creates a poetic portrait of the urban landscape.

Another three-channel video work, Session (2013), features Arabic, Indian, and African percussion instruments that are similarly played by the environment, this time Sharjah’s urban and desert areas. As with Traces (2015), key interactions with aspects of the locale such as roads, plants and sand, result in a soundtrack that is neither deliberate composition nor entirely random in occurrence. Originally commissioned for the Sharjah Biennial (2013), the instruments depicted originate from countries that comprise much of the workforce in the United Arab Emirates, combining ideas of mapping, infrastructure, and labour with cultural heritage.

Also included in the exhibition are a pair of sculptural relief artworks comprising Tusch [Fanfare] (2015) that feature large staves with musical notation for instrumental flourishes. The notes are made with bronze castings of 17th century cannon balls, reminding of the varied uses of such music including military marches. Between 12 and 24 February, Aladağ’s video Top View (2012), which captures the infectious rhythm of dancing feet, will also be on show in the Hayward Gallery foyer.

Nevin Aladağ was born in 1972 in Van, Turkey and lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Her artwork has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions at international institutions including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, USA; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany; Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany; Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; ARTER Vehbi Koc Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan; and Museo Tamayo, Mexico. She also participated in the 11th Istanbul Biennial (2009), Sharjah Biennial (2013), documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany and Athens, Greece, and the Venice Biennale (both 2017).

Nevin Aladağ: Fanfare is curated by Dr Cliff Lauson, Senior Curator, with Thomas Sutton, Curatorial Assistant, Hayward Gallery. It is a free exhibition at Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space. The show is also part of Imagine Children’s Festival (12-23 February 2020).

Nevin Aladağ will take part in an introduction and Q&A with Dr Cliff Lauson to open the Private View on Wednesday 12 February from 7pm.

Fanfare is on at Hayward Gallery, HENI Space, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Wednesday – Monday 11am – 7pm. Admission: Free