Contemporary Istanbul opens virtually
Contemporary Istanbul’s (CI) new virtual initiative “Virtual Contemporary Istanbul” was launched at an online press conference held on Dec. 16. The 15th edition of the event will be previewed on Dec. 19 and 20 and on general view between Dec. 21 and Jan. 6, 2021 as a virtual fair.
“We set off a 17-day journey. Maybe we can extend it if necessary. We called for 2,500 people in Turkey, including those interested in arts, collectors, buyers and other professionals. We sent their access codes to the system,” CI Chairman of Board Ali Güreli said.
Stating that guided tours of various groups will also take place at the fair, Güreli noted that the physical edition of the fair is set to be made between April 27 and May 2, 2021.
He said that they are planning to hold the 16th edition of CI for seven days, with the preview on Sept. 18-19 and fair days on Sept. 20-2, 2021.
Noting that Virtual Contemporary Istanbul will give great pleasure and enthusiasm to the participants, Güreli said, “I hope they make their purchases with that enthusiasm and the galleries will leave happy. In the end of 2020, let everyone gift art to their spouse, friends, relatives and loved ones. Let this year be the year of gifting art and let the CI be the most important tool for it.”
Curator Hasan Bülent Kahraman said that the virtual fair will not only take place this year but also in the next years, adding that virtuality has become an indispensable part of life.
“I sincerely thank the 12 artists who participated in an exhibition we organized for the fair. I named this exhibition ‘The Corona Diaries Carnival’.”
Explaining that the artists continued to produce in their places despite the troubles during the pandemic era of about nine months, Kahraman added, “Actually, we had a carnival period without realizing it. Carnival is an important concept in art theory, in the world of thought. There is no one-man carnival. Carnival always requires the presence of another person. It is always civil. Therefore, it is a multicolored and very enthusiastic environment. We exhibited more than 25 works from 12 artists, you will see them.”
Fair Coordinator Melih İsmail İnan made a presentation on the software that allows the fair to be visited virtually. He gave information about the digital platform that allows visitors, galleries and artists to interact with each other, allows access to online exclusive content, and provides a structure where they can make remote purchases in real time. He said that collectors can be connected with galleries through the platform.
The 15th Contemporary Istanbul will host 37 galleries, 550 artists, 1,500 artworks and 13 initiatives from 11 countries.
In Virtual Contemporary Istanbul, “Plugin” that focuses on new media and digital art will also be accessible.
Plugin, which has been a part of Contemporary Istanbul for eight years, will feature works by Mario Klingemann, Hideaki Okawa, Sofia Crispo, Nye Thompson, Ece Gözen, Selin Balcı, Philipp Schmitt, Steffen Weiss and Maxim Zhestkov this year.
Visitors can access the preview for two days for free on: virtual.contemporaryistanbul.com/