Top View 29.53 ft.

Nevin Aladağ & Beate Engl

14 — 23 Sep 12


A metal scaffolding with a video screen mounted on it shows Nevin Aladağ's video work "Top View" at Munich's Rindermarkt.

Top View 29.53 ft., 2012 © Foto: Leonie Felle

What does Munich sound like? Nevin Aladağ and Beate Engl explore this question in their joint multimedia project “Top View 29.53 ft”.

Some people can recognise a city with their eyes closed. The sounds of passing cars, the chatter of people’s voices, the rhythm of their footsteps on the tarmac. “Every city has its own musical language,” says Nevin Aladağ. And what does Munich sound like? What is the rhythm of the people in the Bavarian capital? How can citizens be involved in a participatory project in public space? How can the urban fabric of a city be reinterpreted through acoustic and spatial changes?

Nevin Aladağ explores these questions together with Munich-based artist Beate Engl in the multimedia project “Top View 29.53 ft.”, which includes both participatory elements and a concrete engagement with the site. Engl has designed a nine-metre high scaffolding for a display of a video work by Nevin Aladağ, inspired by the oversized billboards often found on arterial roads and on the roofs of buildings in major international cities. The form of the scaffolding is not only determined by the technical or site-specific conditions, but asserts itself as an autonomous sculpture in the urban space. Some parts of the scaffolding are not used in a functional way, but protrude as chaotic elements from the otherwise compact form. The deliberately improvised appearance of the temporary structure evokes not only memories of overworked master builders, but also the failure of utopian architectural projects such as Tatlin’s Monument to the III. International.

For the video, Nevin Aladağ approached people of different ages, genders, ethnicities and social classes in the centre of Munich and asked them to perform a few dance steps in front of the camera. Although the people in the film remain anonymous and you don’t see much more of them than their shoes and the movement of their feet, they reveal a lot about their identities. Aladağ has composed around 50 film sequences into a loop, the sound of which consists of the clatter of heels and the slurping of soles on the various surfaces of Munich’s pavements and squares. The film is projected onto an LED display of the kind commonly used for advertising in public spaces. The title of the work, “Top View 29.53 ft.”, refers to the actual height of the scaffolding, but also contains an allusion to the feet that can be seen on the display.

The artists deliberately chose the Rindermarkt as the location for their multimedia project, as the terraced fountain creates a kind of grandstand situation. “We were looking for a place that had an urban structure, but also a quality of lingering,” explains Engl. In this lively square, the rhythm of the dancers combines with the real sounds of the city to create a summery soundscape.

Nevin Aladağ, born in 1972 in Van, lives and works in Berlin. Beate Engl, born in 1973 in Regen, lives and works in Munich, Prackenbach and Innsbruck.



80331 Munich