When first walking into the building you just might feel a bit overwhelmed with all there is to see - but don't panic! Go down to the information desk to get a Contemporary Istanbul (CI) catalogue, a map of the exhibition (so you don't get lost) and - if you want - a nifty cloth souvenir bag. If you're a no-paper kind of person, then just download the Contemporary Istanbul 2014 app from the Apple Store or Google Play directly to your phone.
First visit CI Editions. This new exhibit promotes various formal and conceptual dimensions of art editions and multiples. Its aim is to present editions as an important field of art productions, as well as an effective way to distribute artwork to various audiences and win collectors and art lovers. If you are a one-of-a-kind piece art lover, then CI Editions is the place for you! CI Editions goes beyond the traditional idea of printed editions and understands art as a limited work of art in the field of printing artist books, photography, video, sculptures, sound and other media. CI Editions does not produce reproductions and will not sell or resell existing prints. The artists will only produce a series of editions exclusively for the exhibit. These are some of the artists you might find in CI Editions: Ahmet Duru, Ahmet Polat, Ali Emir Tapan, Selçuk Ceylan, Hale Tenger, Fırat Ergin and Sıtka Kösemen. After having a limited edition look at the wonderful pieces, check out some of the seminars CI has in plan for you. There is a wide range of seminars you might want to attend. Here are some of the seminars. Day 1: Contemporary Art Now and Tomorrow, How to Collect the Future, Creating Tomorrow. Day 2: Today's vs. Tomorrow's Art Economy (in collaboration with Bloomberg, HT), Promoting the New - About New Media Art's Market and Gallery Management, Fashion Photography, The Fair of Tomorrow. Day 3: The Art of Sound, The Future of Design and Architecture in the scope of the second Istanbul Design Biennial. Day 4: Understanding Contemporary Art, Collecting Editions, Understanding Turkish Contemporary Art. Making your way out of the seminar, get a bite to eat in the refreshment area and cool down before continuing your exciting walk around. Once your are energized, walk on over to "The 90 Minute Shows." This new ambitious off-site exhibition project is one to get excited about. In a transportation container-like space of around 30-square-meters, every 90 minutes a solo exhibition of a visual artist will be constructed, opened, celebrated, mediated and then dismantled for the next artist. Developed and curated by Marcus Graf, "The 90 Minute Shows" are conceived as an experimental forum for alternative artistic and curatorial practices. If you catch Özlem Günyol and Mustafa Kunt's Program you would leave in awe. When you enter the white-walled area with tiny Polaroid pictures hanging on the wall, you immediately become interested. While examining the photos and trying to understand what's going on, someone quickly snaps a picture of you and hangs it silently on the wall. Waiting curiously for the photo to develop, you see that the picture is of you, and now YOU are a part of the show yourself! After the show, you can actually purchase your photo and keep it as a memory of when your photo was in an exhibition!
Then go to the Plugin section of the fair. Plugin, which was a spectacular success last year, meets art lovers this year once again. The New Media Section of Contemporary Istanbul, Plugin showcases what's best in digital art and design in the 1000-square-meter area adjacent to the main exhibition space. It focuses not only on video art, but also on presenting as many examples as possible of the wide array of genres that make up the digital scene: sound and light installations, interactive and generative design, indoor mapping projects, robotic designs and video games to name but a few. We come across two of the most talented artists in the subject of sound: Julian Bayle and Bernard Pourriere. One of the most visited showrooms was The Shadow, curated by Italian artist Fabrizio Corneli. Using mathematics to produce each visually compelling and mind-boggling piece of work, Corneli gives life to his seemingly simple, geometric wall extensions with light. When the lights are turned off, the artist's work seems like a collection of abstract sculptural figures. It's when the light is on that his eye-catching shadows stain the adjacent walls and leave viewers absolutely flabbergasted by the detailed and artistic images that are projected. There are many must-see galleries from the best Turkish artists in the fair as well. One of them being Cemre Yeşil at Daire Sanat. Cemre's photographs are very personal. Her "This Was" project has a specific focus on personal memory. The personal photographs are then given an odd universal weight by the text she writes underneath the photographs. "This was the girl we both fell in love with" hand written below a picture of a girl in a flowered dress, sticks to you in a way you can't describe. They then transform into your own adopted or wanted memory just like that. Other Turkish must-sees are Nilbar Gureş at Rampa Gallery, Nejat Sati at Pi Artworks and Ayşe Küçük at Milk Gallery. On a different level of art (literally, on a different floor) there is the so-called "emerging galleries." These galleries contain work from new talents and fresh faces. If you want to buy some interesting pieces that won't burn a hole in your pocket, this is the place for you. The most visited are: Ötkem&Aykut Galeri, Mixer, artnivo.com and Red Art. Artnivo.com is one of the names that started out as an online platform. The exhibition changes its layout every day of the fair and gives visitors something new every time. Red Art Istanbul is an exhibition that people began to recognize because of Contemporary Istanbul. The works of İlke Kutlay can also be found here. Whether glass, oil, acrylic, charcoal or wax - really all media - there are tons of different and original pieces for you to see at the Contemporary Istanbul Fair. We hope this was a road map for all who visited, missed out or those who are counting down for the 2015 CI Fair! (Nov. 23-29, 2015) See you then!