You Can Check Out Any Time You Like | But You Can Never Leave

Huseyin Bahri Alptekin |  H-fact: Hospitality/Hostility series (2003-2007). [A series of light box art simulating hotel signs from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) collection].

According to Wikipedia, Turkish artist Huseyin Bahri Alptekin (1957-2007) studied aesthetics, philosophy of art, and sociology in Ankara and Paris. Alptekin is considered one of the most significant figures in the established contemporary art scene of Istanbul. He was part of the first generation of Turkish artists considered to be globally active and nationally influential.

H-fact: Hospitalty/Hostility consists of a series of seven light boxes, each bearing the name of a city, which are fabricated to resemble signs for cheap hotels in Istanbul neighbourhoods frequented by merchants, migrants and budget tourists in particular from Russia and the Balkans.

Hotel Bristol | Hotel Odessa | Hotel Rejkyavik (sic) | Motel Beirut |
Pension Cadiz | Hotel Estambul | Balkan Oteli

  • In this work, Alptekin explores the effects of globalisation, immigration and exile on Turkey and specifically its cultural capital, Istanbul.  Some of the cities featured on the signs were part of the former Ottoman Empire.
  • The work speaks to Turkey’s historical and continued role as a fertile meeting place for various civilizations, its Ottoman past; and its contemporary identity as a strategic partner in the European political arena.

Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night.
[From Hotel California by Glen Frey, Don Felder and Don Henley]

  • I wonder, do these hotels have mirrors on the ceiling and/or pink champagne on ice?

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