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Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin


Print, 139 x 847 cm (installation sizes).
Materials: Digital prints mounted on forex

Capacity is the collective title of a series of works by Alptekin. The work Capacity (1998) uses a grid of images of hotel signs as a ground for the word itself written in lights. These images are of exotically-named hotels that appropriate the names of other places – Hotel Lima, Tibet Hotel, etc., and were also the basis of Alptekin’s later H-Facts: Hostility/Hospitality (2003-07) series of hotel sign sculptures. The photos were taken by the artist mainly in the Laleli and Tarlabaşı districts of Istanbul that were saturated with cheap hotels, and which were mainly stopgaps for underprivileged travellers and workers. The word “Capacity” on the work, which is based on the artist’s handwriting, might be interpreted as a statement on ambitions for economic growth and regeneration. The work was first produced by Alptekin for his participation in the 24th São Paulo Biennial, and was his way of considering both São Paulo and Istanbul as two huge cities looking to fulfil their new potential as they rapidly transition from ‘developing’ cities to global metropolises.

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