The international contemporary art fair Contemporary Istanbul (CI) is counting down the days for its 14th edition. The much-awaited fair will take place from Sept. 12-15 at the Istanbul Congress Center and the Lütfi Kırdar Rumeli Hall. This year, the exhibition will feature 75 contemporary art galleries, 510 artists and more than 1,400 works from 22 countries. The artistic director of the fair is French curator and art researcher Anissa Touati.
The special project realized with the fair this year is the Recent Acquisitions series. Works acquired by one foreign and 41 local collectors in the last two years will be displayed at Recent Acquisitions curated by Hasan Bülent Kahraman.
The Gallery Support Program, which started two years ago, continues this year. Thanks to the program, many galleries from around the world have the opportunity to participate in Contemporary Istanbul. The program has grown to support galleries from Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, Portugal, the United States and South Africa.
The new media section, Plugin, which has become an integral part of Contemporary Istanbul, will be exhibiting works of digital artists in its seventh year curated by Esra Özkan. In addition, the cornerstones of this year's Contemporary Istanbul include: an outdoor sculpture park named the Garden of Eden by Anissa Touati with the participation of nine artists; the Guest Artist Program with artist Waseem Ahmed and curator Alexandra Pace; the Istanbul Connection Program, which aims to bring together the cultural and artistic world of Istanbul with foreign institutions and the art world; and the Art Platforms section, which hosts independent curators and art platforms.
Sixty-eight contemporary art galleries and 20 new galleries are participating in the exhibition for the first time as a result of the curatorial perspective of Touati and her one-on-one communication with participating galleries.
The CIF Dialogues conference program will be held with the concept "Mediterranean Horizons." Within the scope of collaboration with Art-O-Rama, the first international art fair in Southern France, the concept of "Being Mediterranean" will be discussed. The conference program was determined and directed by Salma Tuqan, deputy director of the Delfina Foundation this year.
acquisitions on display
Turkey's near-term collection history is also the history of recent cultural life. The acquisitions of collections in the visual arts within the past two decades in Turkey has reached a richness and depth that cannot be compared to previous periods. The richness of these collections is due to the extent of the artistic area they are headed toward. Both works produced for Turkish art and works produced all around the world are included in these collections. In addition, almost all artistic production techniques are represented in these collections.
The exhibition displays works collected by Turkish collectors and also gives tips on the trends, preferences and searches by Turkish collectors. It is possible to see a kind of breakdown of these trends and preferences. The curator of the exhibition based the inner logic of the exhibition on things, words and signs to create integrity for the exhibition.
A striking and impressive exhibition is waiting for art lovers at Recent Acquisitions, while fulfilling a significant responsibility by exhibiting these works in public space.
Gallery Support Program
Launched in 2017, the Gallery Support Program enables galleries from all over the world to participate more extensively to in CI and plays an important role in presenting contemporary artworks to both local and international audiences. In 2018, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, France and the U.S. took part in the gallery support program. In 2019, the program grew to support galleries in Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, Portugal, the U.S. and South Africa.
Plugin in its 7th Year
Plugin, organized since 2017, is curated by Esra Özkan this year. The new media section of the fair focuses on RW [material] this year.
All new form conceptions produced in the laboratory by the artist, which aim to offer new experiences; interaction of the audiences with their body; the impact from the new forms of consciousness that they experiment, where raw material comes from and how it is perceived; how it communicates with the environment will be depicted throughout Plugin and how a raw material becomes an object with the subject and time in a space or how these vary according to the reaction of the audiences comprise the basis of this year's Plugin.
through the eyes of machines
The digital work of famous Turkish artist and architect Güvenç Özel, who came third in the Mars Colony competition organized by NASA in 2015, "Deep City" will be displayed for the first time at Contemporary Istanbul. Based on the idea of how machines, which constantly document and control human activities and city form our urban spaces, "Deep City" witnesses how audiences experience space between the mind and the body of the machines, and can be visited throughout CI.
In collaboration with Art-O-Rama and Contemporary Istanbul for the first time in the context of CIF Dialogues, the series titled "Mediterranean Horizons" focuses on the concept of being from the Mediterranean region from the past to the future. The event curated by Delfina Foundation assistant director, Salma Tuqan, will host collectors, artists and stakeholders. The galleries that Contemporary Istanbul will host are Galerie Creve - Coeur, Paris & Marseille; Double V, Marseille; while Art-O-Rama will host The Pill and Öktem Aykut from Istanbul.
Garden of Eden
Contemporary Istanbul will host an outdoor sculpture park, "Garden of Eden" for the second time this year. The outdoor sculpture park, organized by Anissa Touati, will feature works by nine local and foreign artists from participating galleries. The participating artists are Ebru Dösekçi, Sinem Tekin, Emirhan Eren, Burcu Erden, Osman Dinç from Turkey, Mikayel Okanjanyan from Armenia, Guido Casaretto from Italy, Ugo Schiavi and Elsa Sahal from France.
Touati, Cl's artistic director, shuttles between Mexico and France as assistant director of the Chalet Society. Touati is known for her contributions to the development of contemporary Mexican art by gaining recognition in Mexico and outside Mexico. Anissa Touati has been the curator or co-curator of many international exhibitions.
Guest Artist Program
Contemporary Istanbul will host Pakistani artist Waseem Ahmed and curator Alexandra Pace in the first residency program this year. The works that Waseem Ahmed will produce in Istanbul for a month will be exhibited at Gowen Contemporary in Geneva. The "This is Blitz" stand, participating in the fair for the first time this year and which is one of the leading contemporary art platforms founded by Alexandra Pace in Malta, will take place throughout the fair in Istanbul.
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