WE KNOW EACH OTHER
Digital Collages, 2010-2012, C-Print on aluminum panels
“Hasan Özgür Top’s We Know Each Other series has its roots in arabesk – a style of popular Turkish music that emerged in conjunction with the huge influx of rural populations into cities from the 1960s onwards – as well as in the street culture associated with it. The artist created the work from digitally altered photographs and movie posters from this period.
Top removed the female figures who originally appeared next to arabesk icons like Orhan Gencebay, Müslüm Gürses and İbrahim Tatlıses, replacing them with each icon’s own passionate reflection. “We know each other” is reflective of the dire need for a sense of belonging within the arabesk culture and acts as a badge of this introverted togetherness.
Top’s work underscores the important role played, especially among rural communities, by arabesk culture and by its fantasy universe in structuring notions of desire. The artist’s manipulated images also interrogate perceptions of machismo and heterosexual masculinity imposed by society.”