The exhibition “Among Friends: One Chapter of a Long Story” showcases works by artist Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin (1957-2007) and 16 of his close friends. In her conceptual text, Curator Pelin Uran quotes French philosopher Jacques Derrida‘s reflection about the dilemma of friendship.
“There is a future, which is predictable, programmed, scheduled, foreseeable. But there is a future, l’avenir, which refers to someone who comes, whose arrival is totally unexpected. For me, that is the real future. That which is totally unpredictable. The Other who comes without my being able to anticipate their arrival.” ~ Jacques Derrida
During Alptekin‘s lifetime, his friends were closely involved in the artist’s constant search for innovation and new inputs. His passion for collecting items of daily use and his drift through Istanbul were usually done in company with others. “I am not a studio artist“, he would emphasize. His second nature was opposing common views and deconstructing the mainstream.
Alptekin was deeply influenced by Jacques Derrida, he had visited his lectures at the Sorbonne. Deconstructionism is rooted in what Derrida called Différance: meaning is not static but rather constantly changing, a constantly morphing competition between concepts. The continual inquiry keeps intellectually engaged in seeking alternative perspectives and comprehensions. There is no definitive conclusion; the process of inquiry is the ultimate goal.
The same intensity can be found in Alptekin life, as Pelin Uran points out: “[he] found his creativity and vital force in movement, in flights, in frontiers and in thresholds as something to cross, to go beyond. Otherness and displacement, the flow of immigration, not belonging, not feeling at home in anyplace, the desire to flee and the melancholia that accompanies it have been the major concerns both in his life and in his work, as well as threshold philosophical concepts like hospitality and hostility, creation and destruction, high and low”.
The exhibition evokes Derrida‘s conception of friendship, highlighting the fact that every friendship is structured from its inception by the possibility of one of the two friends passing away first, leaving the remaining friend to grieve. Alptekin’s unexpected passing in 2007 meant a huge loss to all those close to him. However, his spirit as an artist inspires his friends until now. “Among Friends: One Chapter of a Long Story” features some works of his wide friend circle.
“Among Friends: One Chapter of a Long Story” can be seen at Galerist in Istanbul, until 28.10.2023.
Participating Artists: Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, Can Altay, Thomas Büsch, Tunç Ali Çam, Grip-in (Ali Cindoruk, Eray Makal, Erhan Muratoğlu), Ayhan Hacıfazlıoğlu, Minna Henriksson & Staffan Jofjell, Şirin İskit, Emre Koyuncuoğlu, Michael Morris, Serkan Özkaya, Camila Rocha, Vahit Tuna and Nalan Yırtmaç.