Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin

1957–2007

Biography

Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin (1957 in İzmir – 2007) studied aesthetics, philosophy of art, and sociology in Ankara and Paris. Part of the first generation of Turkish artists considered to be globally active and nationally influential, Alptekin is considered one of the most significant figures in the established contemporary art scene of Istanbul.

Alptekin was fascinated by the difference between the promise of something and its banal reality. This promise could lie in the name of a cheap hotel offering the experience of a distant place, or in the branding of a mass-produced product unconvincingly simulating luxuriousness or exoticism. Alptekin was an artist that saw the profound effects of global capitalism on the everyday, observing the movement of people and products across geographies, particularly in the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He himself was also a traveller, studious of forms of feral capitalism surging from places considered the fringes of western modernity. It is the signifiers and remnants of all this –traces of the burgeoning effects of mobility, trade and image circulation– that Alptekin used as the materials for his art-making, as a means for contemplating what it all represented.

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