Global Digestion

Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin


Print, 145 x 935 cm (installation sizes), 9,5 x 15 cm (each).
Materials: Digital prints mounted on forex

Collection: M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK009107).

This cloud-formation work Alptekin created using non-professional photographic printing, Global Digestion depicts hundreds of photographs of toilets and bathrooms the artist visited during his travels. Some even date back to 1979-80 when he was working for the photographic press agency Sipa in Paris, for whom he travelled to different African nations and, additional to his paid work, he began photographing toilets as well as hotel and restaurant signs for the first time. The eventual work was influenced by critical theorist Slavoj Žižek’s book The Plague of Fantasies in which he discusses, amongst other things, the specificities of visiting the toilet for people of different cultures. As an artist who travelled the globe during the rapid period of internationalisation for contemporary art, Alptekin wanted to observe the extent to which the effects of globalisation would bring homogeneity to different societies. Yet, even one the most basic functions of the human body, it seems, is not a universal experience.

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