August 30, 2015Black Sea TracesRampa Istanbul presents the first posthumous gallery show of Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin on September 2 on the occasion of the 14th Istanbul Biennial. The exhibition brings together over 45 works produced during the two decades on either side of the new millennium, including a selection of studies, drawings and notes from the Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin archive.
In 2007, he represented Turkey in the 52nd Venice Biennial with his installation Don’t Complain.
Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin in Venice 2007, one of his last interviews about his work before he died on December 31, 2007
The exhibition at Rampa Istanbul will also consider his collaborative initiatives with other artists, such as the Bunker Research Group (BRG) or the Sea Elephant Travel Agency, which aspired to organize a “floating laboratory” for artists and thinkers to circumnavigate the Black Sea, developing critical discussions and artistic exchange while tracing the route taken by the protagonist in Jules Verne’s novel Kéraban the Inflexible (1883).
“Democratic Luxury” is set to run until Nov. 14 at Rampa Istanbul.
June 6, 2015Black Sea Traces / Détournement / DisplacementSince beginning of June this year fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government forces escalated again in Ukraine. A cease-fire did not exist in reality. Last weeks fightings are the heaviest since the ceasefire signed in February. Against the background of this new Cold War atmosphere the Russian artist group Chto Delat („What is to be done?“) had a past show in spring in Berlin at KOW Berlin titled Time Capsule expressing the hopelessness of this kind of conflicts in a world order that ignores the demands and needs of its population.
World is changing and artists are seeking for new approaches to cope with the modern challenges. While French artist and architect Leopold Lambert is turning our cartographic habits up-side-down and focusses on governmental structures inspired by ancient Greek polis-systems, the Russian collective Chto Delat is asking in their Berlin exhibition what could art be at a moment when familiar politics and everyday life start falling apart?
What seemed the stuff of nightmares yesterday is reality today, and artists who want to address present conditions have wound up in a very complicated position.
For Chto Delat, which is built around members as Tsaplya Olga Egorova, Nikolay Oleynikov and Dmitry Vilensky, current life circumstances result in the following question: how can we carry on creating, speaking and living when we are all frozen at our computer screens in hopeless anxiety, trying to make sense of the bloody mixture of contradictory and manipulated information, seething hatreds, madness and desperation while the chance to be heard is ever more limited?
An important peculiarity of the events taking place today in Russia and Ukraine is that they are positioned primarily in relation to the past: the unresolved trauma of the clash between Nazism and Stalinism and the crude manipulation of these ideologies that’s now going on. All this provokes the sensation that the demons of the past have returned to strangle us with their tentacles of blood.
They complain of „a new Cold War atmosphere“ arising, massive repressions happening towards oppositionals in their country and a military operation going on in Ukraine taking its tall with thousands of deads on both sides. Chto Delat does not supply answers to all the rising questions but admits the belief that someone in the future will be able to encounter the contents.
Existing since 2003 and based in St. Petersburg, the former works of Chto Delat often spoke of hope and revolutionary optimism. They developed combinations of Brechtian songspiels, participatory theater, public actions and propaganda cheering for an utopian communist alternative to the current political and economical agenda. Capitalism already led to the catastrophe, they state, but world is not willing to face this fact yet: „Until there is no hope, true revolutionary action is postponed“, says Oxana Timofeeva.
And this means we can connect ourselves to the future. Our time capsule has the shape of a heart connected to an ear. Each of us laid one special thing, something dear to him or her, in an empty space inside the heart. Then we sent this “heart-ear capsule” into the future. Because we believe the future will happen. Let’s make sense together out of this simple fact, they concluded in their recent exhibition at KOW Berlin.
At KOW they constructed a labyrinth of blown-up newspapers reporting on the war in Syria, Ebola, military convoys and ISIS. The installation’s centre contained a video, showing activist friends discussing the events until, in mid-speech, their voices lose all meanings. They crack up, stand up, become bodies and come together – as a communitiy of people, who are awake and perplexed, afraid and alter, who need each other.
The resignation of Chto Delat became figurative once more by a violent act aiming to destroy one of their pieces of art: A six metre high paper board soldier carrying a shield of the antifascistic action was set on fire by unknown people in Berlin and lateron partly rebuilt by Chto Delat. As a resurrected (zombie) soldier the sculpture returned, provided with inner monologues on the mutilation of a self, his body, perception and ideals.
July 4, 2014Black Sea TracesThe first group exhibition of gallery Rampa in Istanbul this secret world that exists right there in public brings together the works of Etel Adnan, Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, Francis Alÿs, Otto Berchem, Attila Csörgő, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Cengiz Çekil, Nilbar Güreş, Berat Işık, Çağdaş Kahriman, Yasemin Özcan, Funda Özgünaydın, İz Öztat & Zişan, Kiki Smith, and Ali Taptık until July 12th.
Bringing together works that twist, open up or change perceptions, the exhibition aims to create a space where the secret world that exists right there in public appears as a possibility. The exhibition hails the social movements that will surely leave a mark on the 10’s of this century by taking a fresh look at history, geography, architecture, and nature.
Co-curated by Lara Fresko and Esra Sarıgedik Öktem, the exhibition takes its inception and title from a scene in Noah Baumbach’s 2012 film Frances Ha, in which Frances, talking to strangers in semi drunken fervor, points out a fleeting moment when the transformative potential of love as well as the miracle of unmediated communication is rendered possible and visible. Focusing on the potentials of interpersonal relations and social movements to envision alternative worlds, the exhibition brings together works from different histories and geographies.
Frances Ha – Official Theatrical Trailer
The exhibition successfully depicts three central works that explore the many facets of travel, crossing borders, creating channels of communication, instituting solidarity, storytelling and imagining utopian and dystopian alternatives through a cartographic approach.
Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, Image from SALT Research Hüseyin-Alptekin-Archive, Courtesy of the Estate of Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin and Rampa Istanbul
We want to put a special emphasis on the work by Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin The Black Sea Map / Kéraban Lé Têtu (1999). The installation constists of a black sea map expanded originally by a reprint of a postcard showing a story teller in the black sea region and a deck of cards. This installtion became already 1999 an inspiration for further works by various artists.
The work by Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin follows Jules Verne’s stubborn tobacco merchant in a journey all the way around the Black Sea in order to get to Istanbul’s Asian coast without crossing the Bosphorus. A remnant of what became the Sea Elephant Travel Agency focussing on networks of communication among the contemporary art scene of Turkey with its northern neighbors and what is not only a vision of alternative routes but also a cultural project of solidarity formation.
Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, Image from SALT Research Hüseyin-Alptekin-Archive, Courtesy of the Estate of Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin and Rampa Istanbul
At gallery Rampa, Istanbul until July 12th
April 4, 2014Black Sea TracesA Library That Music Runs Through
Murat Opus reinterprets Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin Collection at SALT Galata
SALT continues to invite others to reinterpret the Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin Collection, which consists of the artist’s archive and books, located at SALT Galata. The new presentation is undertaken by the musician Murat Opus who worked with Alptekin for a period.
A harmonica from Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin Archive
With Three Books, Three Partitions, Three Sounds: A Library That Music Runs Through, Murat Opus engages in a dialogue with the three books from the Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin Library: Punk – Break All Rules: Punk Rock and the Making of a Style – , Schoenberg Remembered: Diaries and Recollections, 1938-76 and Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil. He aims to touch upon three periods of the last century, as well as the music books in the Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin Collection, via the language of sound and music.
Partition Gyorgy Ligeti – Murat Opus
While he reconstructs Alptekin’s relation with music, its influence on his projects and day-to-day life; Opus also aims to decipher the new paths that Alptekin’s oeuvre offers for music and the musician. He articulates Alptekin’s deep interest in the world of sound, its close relationship with other disciplines and its effect on the formation of cultural history.
Tom Ze: Quero Sambar Meu Bem
In the context of the project, Opus presents the great transformation of Brazilian music in the post-1960 era and the youth movement reshaped by Tropicalism; the adventure of contemporary musical architecture, initiated by Schoenberg after 1908, that centers around the idea that this music demolished and recreated itself; and finally the irresistible rebellion of Punk subculture that peaked in the second half of the last century. With works by Tom Ze, Gyorgy Ligeti and Lou Reed.
September 22, 2013Related EventsVery nice sculpture park-they made this for against buildup shopping mall. Church, craft street, Ukrainian food:) Kyiv chicken cutlet should be wet by batter.
Photos by Takeshi Ito on his trip to the Ukraine
Takeshi Ito has been studying in Prague since then he is a travelling artist, Istanbul, Chisinau, Kyiv. He continues to pursue his theme of “passing on.” He believes that “life is about passing on something to a successor: children, loved ones and strangers. Passing on is life itself.” Tricycles, representing love of parents to children and hedgehogs, representing love, re-occur in his sculptures and installations. The colour red, which represents communication, connection and relationship in Japan, is his signature colour. Ito works mostly with glass, for him glass is a material which can hold light, darkness, air, will and time – fragile, yet all encompassing.
Takeshi Ito at Maumau, Istanbul April 2013
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September 6, 2013Related EventsSALT continues to invite others to reinterpret the Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin Collection, which consists of the artist’s archive and books, located at SALT Galata. So far four installations have been realized, by Alptekin’s spouse Camila Rocha and by three of Alptekin’s friends Ahmet Şenkart, Özgür Uçkan and Luchezar Boyadjiev. The fifth project, titled Index and Circulation: Driftmentary, is undertaken by the Grup Grip-in Collective whose members Ali Cindoruk, Eray Makal and Erhan Muratoğlu had participated in diverse projects and exhibitions with Alptekin.
Index and Circulation: Driftmentary aims to draw interrelations between the indexical and artistic approach of Alptekin. The listing available in the Café at SALT Galata represents the whole archive, while the objects and images displayed in SALT Research examine the relationship between the index and archive. This approach enables the viewer to navigate his/her own path through the concepts that Alptekin often referred to, such as circulation, heterotopia, intertextuality and appropriation.
The Grup Grip-in Collective members Ali Cindoruk, Eray Makal and Erhan Muratoğlu will give a talk about the project Index and Circulation: Driftmentary which they reinterpreted Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin archive at SALT Galata.
Talk: The Grup Grip-in Collective
October 1, 19.00
SALT Galata, SALT Research
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May 27, 2013Related EventsThe Artisterium VI, the annual international contemporary art exhibition and series of public art events, opens in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on October 4th, and runs through October 14, 2013.
The Artisterium 2013 theme of “Am I You?” encourages participants to research the phenomena of the Other and the ecology of our relation and responsibility to the Other. We wish to explore possible ways of coexisting with unfamiliar, different or even disagreeable ideologies and lifestyles, while at the same time calling for participation, understanding and empathy. Through the year’s theme we hope to reveal modes of exploring the influence that shape our connections to divers thoughts and attitudes – and even the life forms – living next to us on this planet.-
Sitki Kösemen in Tbilisi
4-14 October, 2013, Tbilisi, Georgia
Artisterium VI [...]Read more...
May 13, 2013Events / Related EventsSea Elephant Travel Agency was launched by InEnArt as a online platform in memory of Hüseyin B. Alptekin who founded the Sea Elephant Travel Agency as a visual and performing arts laboratorium, focussing on inter-actions of variety of populations and cultures in the Black Sea Region.
InEnArt launches the Sea Elephant Travel Agency 2013 ten years after the planned trip as an open online platform with the aim to continue tracing the imaginary itinerary of Jules Verne on the Black Sea.
If you are in search of covering specific perspectives in the contemporary art scene, starting from local and regional energies and events in relationship with universal networks within the frame of individual initiatives and reciprocal solidarities please apply and become involved into our enterprize.
Artists and art professionals are invited to participate with art works and ideas into the ongoing platform.
Please download the application form and send it together with the requested supporting material to email@example.com.
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May 10, 2013Black Sea TracesHüseyin Bahri Alptekin’s solo exhibition at SESC Pompeia, Brazil, presents a selection of 12 key works spanning the artist’s career from the early 1990s until his death in 2007.
photo from Camila Rocha
A central figure in Turkish contemporary art, Alptekin was a prolific artist, writer, curator and educator whose career was marked by his extensive work-related travels and by his influential collaborations with a number of artists and thinkers from Turkey and abroad. Including photographs, videos, collages, installations and objects, this is the most comprehensive display of Alptekin’s work in São Paulo to date – his works were previously shown at the 24th São Paulo Biennial (1998) and at the Istambul Agora Festival in 2011.
The exhibition was curated by Camila Rocha and Kiki Mazzucchelli.
SESC POMPEIA, Brazil – APRIL – MAY 2013
Text by Kiki Mazzukelli [...]Read more...