CI 2016 Features New Projects with Over 100,000 Visitors Expected

Contemporary Istanbul
May 27, 2016 2:56PM

Turkey’s leading international art fair Contemporary Istanbul brings both local and international focus to the dynamic art scene in Turkey's vibrant metropolis every year. At the press conference, held on May 17 at The Sofa Hotel, CI confirmed its programming and the consolidative power of the 11th edition of the fair. Bringing together the best contemporary art works from Turkey and around the globe, CI will present its 11th edition and its series of innovative programming from 3-6 November 2016 at the Istanbul Congress Centre (ICC) and Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC).

CI Chairman & Founder Ali Güreli, CI Executive Committee Member Hasan Bülent Kahraman and CI Artistic Advisor Marc-Olivier Wahler also presented new additions to the fair. Last year, 102 international galleries took part, and 2016 will once again feature a strong list of international galleries. Such solid international participation is due to the fair's ability to reach far beyond its November events, with presentations and exclusive gatherings held worldwide throughout the year. Even more notable is the fair’s growth in attendance, which has increased from 37,000 in its first edition to over 86,000 visitors in 2015, a testament to CI’s importance, locally, regionally and internationally. 

Contemporary Istanbul Chairman & Founder Ali Güreli commented on the new projects of the fair, stating: "We expect the number of visitors to exceed 100,000 this year. We are both pleased and feel the responsibility of this intensive attention of the audience. As a global brand, CI serves a significant function in the development of the public perspective on art and the enhancement of Turkish artists' and collectors' prestige. CI also has a positive impact on the current issues in the tourism industry by using art as a tool to bring people together. In this light, we gather with 1,000 important figures from the contemporary art scene across 14 cities around the world. We also aim to establish a communication network among Turkish collectors through our new project "Collectors' Choice” which is an exceptional exhibition that will showcase 120 artworks carefully selected from the private collections of 60 Turkish collectors. An innovative collaboration produced for the very first time in Turkey, the exhibition will present works selected by the collectors themselves with an aim to showcase their individual aesthetic insights and the shifting dynamics of contemporary art tastes to the international audience.

The new section CI Design will bring design galleries together for the first time in our 2016 edition and offer exciting new opportunities for art collectors. Carefully selected international and Turkish galleries will feature a collection of exceptional works. The support exhibition co-organized with Aralık Foundation from 12-13 May raised funds to support a school project and we will continue our efforts to give back to the community. A creative hub of activity throughout history, Istanbul is incredibly unique and completely different to any other major world capital. CI is an Istanbul-based fair and we will continue to provide a platform to showcase local work alongside international art. CI aims to be a long term event that fills a total capacity of 10,000 beds around the fair's venues, Lütfi Kırdar Rumeli Hall and Istanbul Congress Center." 

CI Executive Committee Member Hasan Bülent Kahraman, who stressed the agency of CI to continue to be socially conscious and to improve aesthetic development, further stated: "The development and transformation in art resonates with the improvement on an intellectual level. CI stands out as a highly significant institution for social growth. CI will also change its visual stance this year through its new projects such as Collectors' Choice. The new initiative, CI Publications, will chronicle the history of collectorship in Turkey. CI will also organize emerging art fairs with a focus on different media in the upcoming years." 

Recently appointed as the director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU (Broad MSU), CI Artistic Advisor Marc-Olivier Wahler focused on the difference between his role as a museum director and advisor: "CI introduced contemporary art to a large majority of people in Turkey. Museums are authoritarian institutions and people might refrain from frequent visits. CI provides an opportunity to gather freely and conveniently through contemporary art. CI has proved to be more than an art fair, with its programme of talks, CI Dialogues, its new media section, Plugin, and new sections Collectors' Choice and CI Design.” Wahler said he saw Miami and Paris as interesting examples, as both cities have witnessed considerable growth in recent years as art fair centers: "With laws enforced in 2003, France has liberated collectors by offering an opportunity of a 67% tax reduction and other art-related general tax concessions. As a result, France has witnessed a radical change in the following years and strengthened as an international hub for artistic activities. A similar impact and reach was achieved by CI in Istanbul over the past 10 years, whereby CI will uncover even more potential in its 2016 edition and in the years to come."

Contemporary Istanbul