The Eighth Contemporary İstanbul will take place Nov. 7-10 at the İstanbul Convention and Exhibition Center and the İstanbul Congress Center.
Contemporary İstanbul (Cİ), the large annual international contemporary art fair held in the conjoined buildings of the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre and İstanbul Congress Center, will mark its eighth edition on Nov. 7-10, with a gala opening on the evening of Nov. 6.
The four-day event will feature 95 galleries, 650 artists and 3,000 works of art from 22 different countries. By now, it has become the hotly anticipated annual oasis for artists, gallerists and a keenly interested and informed general public to rub elbows with prominent foreign investors, art scholars, publishers, sponsors and international stars of the contemporary art world.
The fair will offer eight programs within the scope of the four days: Dialogue: Art from Vienna; New Horizons, featuring the Russian Federation; Plug In; Cİ Dialogues; İCE Magazine #11; BCAC -- Bodrum Contemporary Art Campus; Art Istanbul's Week of Art; and Artsy, an online preview portal.
In a press conference held Nov. 5, Ali Güreli, chairman of Cİ, Hasan Bülent Kahraman, general coordinator of Cİ, and Saltık Galatalı, executive vice president of Akbank, shared the stage to announce some of the fair's features for 2013, and give perspective on what Cİ has come to mean for not only İstanbul, but for Turkey and Turkey's position in the global art scene. Three gallery owners and original Cİ participants, Yeşim Turanlı (Pi Artworks), Haldun Dostoğlu (Galeri Nev) and Sevil Binat (C.A.M.), also contributed to the panel.
"We started with only a small number of galleries in 2005," explained Güreli, "with the aim of creating a platform for art in Turkey, and with an eye on growing into an international one. Contemporary İstanbul now has a prominent place in the contemporary arts of Turkey. And Turkish art, through Cİ's influence, now has a prominent place globally; just recently, at Sotheby's in Dubai, we saw the highest price ever paid for a Turkish artist's work."
Kahraman, who is also a curator, sees how the art scene in Turkey plays a role in the geopolitics of the region with its cutting-edge hi-tech component. "In Europe, I participated in discussions about how art drives the economy," he said. "So I can see clearly how art can play a role in Turkish society. This year will be the debut of a new section of Contemporary İstanbul -- the 'Plug In,' which is focused on new digital technology and how it influences art. We intend to continue developing this new media.
"We're also interested in creating an aesthetic capital -- to have a city that is attractive to new fairs, new galleries and collectors," Güreli added. Tangentially, the role of Akbank has been vital: Galatalı reported that "we've been traveling around Turkey for three years, holding meetings to educate and engage collectors for CI and Akbank, and to establish collector bases around the country."
Source: Today's Zaman