Istanbul once again the capital of arts

Istanbul once again the capital of arts

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul once again the capital of arts


The ninth edition of Contemporary Istanbul (CI), a leading international art fair, opens today.

Celebrating Istanbul’s exciting and dynamic art scene, the fair takes place at the Istanbul Congress Center (ICC) and the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC).

Featuring the best in contemporary art in Europe, the Balkans and Middle East, the fair offers opportunities to discover Istanbul and its young, vibrant art scene, as well as consider the future of contemporary art. With 104 galleries and 520 artists from 22 countries, the fair also includes a unique “Plug-in media section” that explores the latest, most avant-garde developments in the contemporary art scene worldwide.

“With our ninth edition, we are confident to say that we have provided the art foundation, the ground of a generation. The CI stands truly behind the new and contemporary Turkish Art: We are not for yesterday, not even for today – but for tomorrow. That is also why we have opened the door for the other countries of the region – and when I say region, I mean a very large one: the Middle East, Balkans, Caucasus and East Mediterranean, as well as Europe,” said Ali Güreli, chairman of the CI.

Among the galleries participating this year are Paris’ Galerie Lelong, New York’s Marlborough Galleries, Madrid’s Galerie Javier Lopez, London’s Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, Berlin’s Galerie Kornfeld, and Rome’s Galleria Russo.

CI Editions is the CI’s new initiative, aimed at promoting the various formats and conceptual dimensions of art editions and multiples. Through its limited program, the CI presents opportunities for new groups of art lovers to collect and creates a valuable asset for all collectors.

For the second year, Plug-in, the New Media Section of the CI, will showcase the best in digital art and design. The Plug-in section focuses on a wide range of genres that make up the digital art and design scene: sound and light installations, video art, interactive and generative design, indoor mapping projects, robotic designs and more.

An appendix of Chinese contemporary art

This year’s focus on Chinese art includes internationally celebrated artists such as Liu Bolin and Liu Dao. The subject of Chinese contemporary art is also featured in the CI dialogues program, with discussions such as “The Future is Now –Contemporary Art in China” and “Art Scene, Market, Institutions in China.” 

In addition, the “Now You See” exhibition offers a view of Chinese video art through the eyes of the collector Dr. Michael I. Jacobs, who has been collecting these works in depth since 2010.

The CI’s talk series, CI Dialogues, creates a platform for constructive debates around today and tomorrow’s art world. CI Dialogues for 2014 will gather international art professionals, artists and collectors for a program that complements the second year of the Plug-In Istanbul and New Focus sections.

Speakers include Robin Woodhead, Chairman of Sotheby’s International; Pascal Odille, Art Beirut & Singapore Art Fair Artistic Director; Emilio Alvarez, Loop Art Fair Director; Guillaume Levy Lambert, Collector and Founder of The MaGMa Collection; Haro Cümbüşyan, Collector; and Lauré Raibut, Manager of Chinese Contemporary Art at Christies Hong Kong.

Curated by Dr. Marcus Graf, CI has a new exciting side exhibition. CI 90 Minute Shows is the CI’s new ambitious site-specific exhibition project, whereby every 90 minutes a solo show by a visual artist will be assembled, opened, celebrated, mediated, discussed, recorded and again dismantled in order to clear the space for the next artist. This project constitutes an experimental platform for alternative artistic and curatorial practices. In a shipping container-like space of 50 square meters, 20 artists will primarily present time and site specific installations, as well as process-oriented works throughout the four days of the fair.

Art Istanbul Art Week

Simultaneous with the CI, Art Istanbul Art Week is a week-long celebration of contemporary art that runs throughout Istanbul, with participating events from institutions, cultural centers, museums and galleries. Along with this year’s Istanbul Design Biennial, these two events bring the entire city to life for a wide international audience. Among the more than 40 cultural organizations participating in these events are SALT, Borusan Contemporary, the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, The Museum of Innocence, Arter, Istanbul Modern, and the Istanbul Foundation for Arts and Culture.

Glasstress, the unprecedented exhibition of the best contemporary art works in glass first opened in 2009 as an official event of the 53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. In 2015, it will join Contemporary Istanbul for the fair’s 10th anniversary edition.

Among the participating artists are Erdağ Aksel, Jean Arp, Tracey Emin, Jan Fabre, Murat Morova, Vik Muniz, Orlan, Ardan Özmenoğlu, Javier Pérez, Seçkin Pirim, Jaume Plensa, Koen Vanmechelen, and many others.

The event will continue until Nov. 16.