Hotel Italia, a project curated by Nostra Signora with the participation of Marcello Faletra, was at Mixer between 10th and 29th of September 2013, as a parallel event of the 13th International Istanbul Biennial.
Palermo based Nostra Signora have undertaken several years of activities aimed at fostering a dialogue between various cities and spaces under the contextual borders of artistic creation. The involved artists were Philippe Berson, Jesse Gagliardi, Cesare Inzerillo, Simone Mannino and Riccardo Scibetta. The exhibition consisted of a site-specific intervention intended to cast a reflection over the transient nature of travelling and the confines of living in a room, which at the same time, is both a physical and imaginary place. Hotel Italia was a group multi-disciplinary exhibition to be made up of painting, photography, sculpture, video andinstallation.
On discussing Hotel Italia, Bengü Gün, Mixer Director says, ‘Upon initial communication with Nostra Signora, it was very evident that Hotel Italia met every requirement to be the first choice to open the new season with, and more importantly, a perfect opportunity for Mixer to communicate and to further expose to the watching world the importance of supporting remarkable International and National talent - talent that is worthy of running alongside the 13th International Istanbul Biennial’.
‘Hotel Italia’ aimed to renew the spirit of an abandoned and wrecked hotel, located within very close proximity to Mixer, on Tomtom Hill. Upon intervention by developers, the decaying Hotel Italia, where the name of the exhibition takes its inspiration, transports the aesthetics of its utilitarian, empty, dust-filled rooms and as a consequence reproduces an allegorical ‘mirror-shift’ within the purposefully built ‘experience rooms’ of the exhibition space. By opening its doors to visitors, ‘Hotel Italia’ aimed to express the quintessential need of carrying on the spirit of such an important landmark, once belonging to a bygone era of a burgeoning and fashionable corner of Istanbul.
The need to inject the nourishment that only art and culture can provide to a hotel once branded under the admirable title of Italia, is an unambiguous resolve by the involved artists and curator(s) alike – by interpreting this and focusing on the cultural heart of a nation that is currently choking under civil negligence and the loss of political centrality, Hotel Italia offered not only its viewers the opportunity of discovering the many works hanging on its labyrinth of ‘hotel room walls’, but also this experience on the whitewashed walls of an art space, expropriated from their original place of origin, creating an air of disorientation among this ‘hotels’ unusual temporary guests.