Contemporary Istanbul opens 12th annual art fair
The 12th edition of the Contemporary Istanbul (CI), which opened on Sept. 14, brings together leading contemporary galleries, artists and collectors from Turkey and around the world, giving a regional and international focus.
A place to discover and rediscover significant artists, CI spreads over the 13,600 square-meter spaces of Rumeli Hall at the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center and the Istanbul Congress Center with the support of Akbank.
In its fifth year, the Plugin New Media Section is dedicated to new media art at the intersection of science and technology. Curated by Ceren and Irmak Arkman for the third time, Plugin is a future-friendly extension of CI under the sponsorship of Siemens home appliances.
This section’s curated exhibition titled “Natura Nova” presents new media art examining conceptions of space, time and culture and the impact that digital technology has brought, also aiming to speculate and envisage what the future may hold.
Participating artists include: Félix Luque, Memo Akten, onformative, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Semiconductor, Joanie Lemercier, Lia, FIELD, Sougwen Chung, İdil İlkin, Aziz + Cucher and Quayola.
In line with the “Exciting Possibilities” motto of the brand, the artwork by Can Büyükberber and Marpi showcase the nature of new media as an innovative field that redefines preconceptions around art and its cultural impact.
‘Movement’ from artistic perspective
This year’s CI Dialogues, the fair’s discussion and talk series, mainly focuses on the topic of “Movement” from the artistic perspective. The theme will be discussed in relation to different disciplines that constitute the essence of daily human life, such as technology, architecture, space and food.
The fair features a new sculpture exhibition, titled “The Fifth Element,” at the neighboring Artists’ Park, curated by Professor Hasan Bülent Kahraman. Istanbul’s first ever outdoor contemporary sculpture exhibition in a public park, it is held in Artists’ Park adjacent to the fair. Using Tabanlıoğlu Architects’ concept as its point of departure, “The Fifth Element artists include: Erdağ Aksel, Jan Fabre, Wim Delvoye, Genco Gülan, Günnür Özsoy, Jannis Kounellis, Johan Tahon, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Osman Dinç and Tony Cragg.
Contemporary Istanbul celebrates its 12th year with CI Publications’ first book, Collectors’ Stories. The CI Collectors’ Stories project gathered artwork selected by 60 of Turkey’s prominent private contemporary art collectors from their personal collections for the first time.
The Collectors’ Stories book will be an invaluable guide for a new generation of art collectors and art lovers and will be distributed across leading art organizations and institutions worldwide.
Art Car project with Mahlangu
The fair also celebrates its 12th edition with the 12th BMW Art Car. BMW’s official distributor in Turkey Borusan Otomotiv co-sponsors CI for the first time for its 12th edition. Borusan Otomotiv exhibits the 12th BMW Art Car, created in 1991 by South African artist Ester Mahlangu, at the fair.
The BMW Art Car Project dates back to 1975 when French racing driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulain wanted to invite an artist to create a canvas on a car. Since then, many renowned international artists have created BMW Art Cars.
Born in South Africa in 1936, Mahlangu is known for her brightly colored paintings and murals in the Ndebele tradition. “My art has evolved from our tribal tradition of decorating the home,” she said.
Having achieved international acknowledgement for her work, she is considered the leading representative of this art form. Mahlangu’s patterns unite her tribe’s traditional means of expression with contemporary technology and the BMW spirit.
Founded on the belief that art significantly contributes to a child’s development as a versatile human being, the Ülker Children Art Atelier in the fair promotes children’s imagination and aesthetic sense through various activities and provides an opportunity for children to discover their talents with expert instructors.
The fair will remain open through Sept. 17.