Can Altay Sala Rekalde'de
No bar, just bottles
25/05/2006 - 09/07/2006
Curator: Leire Vergara
Alameda de Recalde 30, 48009 Bilbao
In an installation format, Turkish artist Can Altay (Ankara, 1975) gathers the progress of research around the minibar phenomenon in his hometown.
Using a bank of images presented in slide show form, a personal library containing key reading for the author and other ephemeral elements with which he encourages the audience to interact with his work, Altay invites us to reflect on the informal uses of urban space.
The minibar is not a radical appropriation of space, but rather an exercise of socialisation where functionality and the regulation of residential areas without precise boundaries become interrupted. The minibar is actually a social structure created from an architectural vacuum, a coming together that originally seeks no commercial end product, an offer of specific service, which only banks on the presence of the people who gather there, bringing their own drink with them.
Altay’s work rests conceptually on social, economic and representational dynamics that shape the production of space. He carries out long-term observational studies that normally settle around the city of Ankara as specific urban geography. His enquiries lead in the direction of what has been termed psycho-cartography, or psychosocial maps, that are inherently open to multiple forms of composition and interpretation. Consequently, the exercise of authorship lies not so much in the selection of the material, which is the result of what the artist has on occasion shared collectively, but in the way those objects are organised within the exhibition space, that is, the manner in which they establish new interpretative connections when presented to the audience.
In The Abstract Cabinet, Can Altay returns to part of the material shown previously in other installations at the same time as he introduces the latest phase of the research. Various photographs show the recent appearance of new bars that are situated at points usually occupied by minibar users. These new businesses reproduce a disposable structure using open architecture, projecting an appearance of a deceptively provisional character.