Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin

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Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin (İzmir, 1957–2007) studied aesthetics, philosophy of art, and sociology in Ankara and Paris. He worked as a photographer for SIPA Press and wrote for various publications as an art and design critic. Alptekin lectured at Ankara Bilkent University and Istanbul Bilgi University. Starting in the early 1990s, Alptekin focused on an artistic production that explored the effects of globalization, immigration, and exile, cross cultural image circulation and anonymous production through travel, personal histories, and archives.

In 2007, Alptekin represented Turkey in the 52nd Venice Biennale with his installation “Don’t Complain” and participated the exhibition “Global Cities” at the Tate Modern in London. From 2000-2004, he ran a non-profit artists’ collective called “Sea Elephant Travel Agency.” He was involved with various collectives and collaborative work, including his early work with M D Morris, Grup Grip-in that he founded with his students at Bilkent University, the meetings arranged at LOFT, the Bunker Research Group and Barn Research Group (BRG) with Camila Rocha. The artist’s solo exhibitions are “Festival Istambul Agora – Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin”, SESC Pompeia, São Paulo (2013), “I Am Not A Studio Artist”, SALT, Istanbul (2011), “Global Mockery”, Maison de Folie de Wazemmes, Lille (2009), and “Kriz: Viva Vaia”, Dulcinea Gallery, Istanbul (1999). Exhibitions he participated in include 2nd and 3rd Tirana Biennial (2003, 2005); the Istanbul Biennial (1995, 2005, 2009); Manifesta 5, San Sebastian (2004); “How Latitudes Become Forms”, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2003); Cetinje Biennial (2002), for which he won the UNESCO Prize; the São Paulo Biennial (1998).

In spring 2013 the Istanbul-based platform InEnArt launched in cooperation with SALT Research the online version of Sea Elephant Travel Agency in memory of Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin. Inspired by Jules Verne’s novel Kéraban-le-Têtu, Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin initiated the Sea Elephant Travel Agency with a group of fellow artists and art professionals. Following the travels of Jules Verne’s stubborn tobacco merchant Kéraban around the coast of the Black Sea, Alptekin intended to gather artists, curators, musicians, architects, historians and scientists to board a boat leaving from Istanbul, following the route of Kéraban and anchoring back in Istanbul again after making a full circle around the Black Sea, stopping at ports of Varna, Constanta, Odessa, Sevastopol, Yalta, Rostov, Novossibirsk, Sochi, Batumi, Trabzon and Sinop. The online version displays manifestations, performances and exhibitions that took place in the past mostly in the name of the Black Sea Project and invites artists and art professionals to participate in an ongoing visual and performing arts laboratorium beyond any border.[1]


  1. ^ "Sea Elephant Travel Agency". InEnArt. Retrieved 10 May 2013.