Contemporary Istanbul Venue Comparable to Venice Arsenale, Says Director
Held in the former Ottoman imperial shipyards, this year's fair will feature 65 exhibitors, an outdoor sculpture show, and that ubiquitous Jeff Koons BMW.
Fair venue Tersane Istanbul. Courtesy Contemporary Istanbul.
Contemporary Istanbul's 17th Edition will return to the Tersane Istanbul location from 17 to 22 September.
This is the second time the fair has been held on the site of the former Ottoman imperial shipyards, which date back to the 15th Century.
'Tersane Istanbul is a truly unique space. Its history and location on the Golden Horn really help create the special atmosphere of the fair', said the fair's director, Asli Ünal.
The area's historical buildings are currently being renovated by Tabanlioglu Architects as part of a mixed-use waterfront development that will include four new museums around a dedicated plaza, along with additional cultural and event spaces.
'I find it interesting how Tersane can be viewed as a historical counterpart of the Arsenale of Venice', Ünal told Ocula Magazine.
'Both these places were used to build fleets that fought wars in the Mediterranean, but now they are venues where the global cultural community can gather, appreciate art, and exchange ideas,' she said.
Sacrificing capacity for location, the number of participants has dropped to 65 this year from 74 exhibitors in 2019 and 80 in 2018.
Galleries attending Contemporary Istanbul this year include AB (Seoul), Pi Artworks, (Istanbul, London), Bavan (Tehran), Berman Contemporary (Johannesburg), Fremin (New York), and Zilberman, (Istanbul).
Fourteen galleries and art initiatives will appear at the fair for the first time including 193 (Paris), Anca Poterasu (Bucharest), Hofa (London, Los Angeles, Mykonos), Firetti Contemporary (Dubai), Roya Khadjavi Projects (New York), and Wadström Tönnheim (Marbella, Malmo).
The outer courtyard of Tersane, will be adorned with 25 site-specific sculptures and installations as part of Contemporary Istanbul's The Yard exhibition. Participants in the show include Turkish artists Vuslat Doğan Sabancı and Bedri Baykam as well as international artists such as Isaac Chong Wai.
Also making an appearance is Jeff Koons' widely-paraded BMW art car, THE 8 X JEFF KOONS, which was produced in an edition of 99. The car is blue, white and yellow with comic book stars and gusts of exhaust, and an onomatopeic 'Pop!' on either side.
'Visually, it looks thrilling. But it is the meaning that you find within this car that makes it special,' Koons has said. —[O]