In Praise Of Depression By Alptekin

SALT (NOT THE TASTE-ENHANCER BUT A WORD MEANING SOMETHING LIKE ‘SIMPLY’ IN TURKISH) IS A NEW ART CENTER ON İSTİKLAL CADDESİ, AND IT’S CURRENTLY HOSTING HÜSEYİN BAHRİ ALPTEKİN’S MOST COMPREHENSIVE EXHIBITION TO DATE.

At the entrance is a letter written by Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, who died in 2007, to curator Rosa Martinez in 1996. A letter that describes him so well. “I am not a studio artist,” he says. “I feel as if I am in constant exile….

I believe in art. I hate artists. I examine the beautiful and the vulgar and the relationship between them. I try to turn Kitsch into something serious, and the serious into something Kitsch. I like neglected elegance, spontaneous lack of taste, impeccable aesthetics...  I like to work with simple, ordinary materials. I am always depressed.

That’s why I called my most recent works ‘The Artist in Depression’ and ‘The Artist in Summer Depression’ and gave the name ‘Spring Depression’ to a jazz piece. I wanted to do a project called ‘The Manager in Depression’ for the 5th Istanbul Biennial. I believe that perceiving and understanding depression as life is another way of living. You can reach new states of consciousness through depression, and only art can decode that and turn it into a joyful experience.”

ON THE MYSTERIES OF MATTER AND LIGHT
The second Matter-Light Show, the first of which welcomed some 35,000 visitors last year, opened recently at the Borusan House of Music. Richard Castelli is the curator of the exhibition, which runs through September 25. Among the artists are Jean Michel Bruyère, Kurt Hentschläger, Julien Maire, Christian Partos, Joachim Sauter & Dirk Lüsebrink and Li Hui.