With a strong showing of 97 established and emerging galleries and a focus on contemporary art in Tehran, Contemporary Istanbul returns for its tenth edition
This November marks Contemporary Istanbul’s tenth anniversary. Since its inaugural edition in 2005, when the fair hosted nine foreign galleries and attracted 37,000 visitors, it has grown exponentially in size, with the 2014 edition boasting 65 international galleries and more than 80,000 visitors. Since the beginning of the year, the fair has travelled to 16 cities in 15 countries, a total distance of 178,480 kilometres, visiting leading art fairs around the world in a search for ever greater global inclusion. Back in Istanbul for its tenth edition, running from November 12 to 15, the fair is reprising its three complementary strands, CI Sections, CI Programs and CI Projects.
In CI Sections this year, 97 established and emerging galleries from 19 countries are showcasing work from Turkey, the Arab world and beyond. The CI Focus this year is Contemporary Tehran. Leading galleries from the Iranian capital are showcasing work by artists including Nasser Bakhshi, Babak Roshaninejad and Houman Mortazavi.
“Tehran has an incredible history and a strong emerging contemporary art scene, which we want to present to the world,” said founder and chairman of Contemporary Istanbul Ali Gureli. “It has always been the interest of CI and its collectors to discover new artists and promote exciting art scenes from around the world. That is why we are excited that Tehran will have a strong presence this year at the fair.”
Returning for a third consecutive year, CI Plugin invites galleries, architecture and design studios to showcase the power of new media, from maker spaces, to game labs, digital art collectives and project spaces. Curated by Ebru Yetiskin, this year’s theme is X-CHANGE, encouraging exploration of emerging practices of production and interaction in new media though video art installations, sound and light installations, kinetic sculptures, interactive and generative design, hologram installation and robotic designs, as well as workshops, walks and talks.
Ci Dialogues, the fair’s annual programme of talks and round tables, this year highlights topics from art criticism during times of crisis, to the work of art initiatives and NGOs, how to curate a biennial, collecting and curatorial practices in new media art, Iranian art today, and an artist talk between world famous photographers Pari Dukovic and Steve McCurry and Turkey’s leading experts on contemporary photography Refik Akyuz and Serdar Darendeliler.
Other highlights include CI Editions, a new initiative aiming to promote art editions and multiples — limited works of art in fields including printing, artist books, photography, video and sculpture — as a means of distributing art to diverse audiences, proposing an alternative to an elitist and exclusive notion of art. •
Contemporary Istanbul runs from November 12 to 15 at Istanbul Congress Centre and Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre.