art fair death match
Post #639 • October 5, 2005, 11:29 AM • 56 Comments
Via Artsjournal, Battle of the art fairs by Colin Gleadell for the Telegraph. It's an interesting glimpse into the full-contact world of arts marketing, with a disconcerting snippet about how FAIC reinvented itself when faced with new competition from Frieze:
[Newly-appointed artistic director Jennifer Flay's] solution was to reduce the number of French galleries at FIAC, open new sections for younger galleries, provide space for large-scale installations and film programmes, and devise a special series of events for VIP visitors.
I don't envy these people as they negotiate market realities, turning their fairs into carnivals of novelty for the well-to-do; the only healthy-sounding thing about the above is the inclusion of younger galleries. Too, the article makes me wonder how many art fairs the market will support. AB/MB has already had an adverse effect on all the Chicago fairs and even the Armory; it seems that people will only fly to so many of them.
Fairs seem to multiply like bunnies. At last count, the December lineup in Miami includes AB/MB, NADA, Scope, Aqua, and Pulse. (Credit.) This increasingly obliges the local art scene to save up for a once-a-year blowout. But I also see a possiblity that once the fairs reach a certain number, what's going on in the rest of the city won't matter. Are you going to hit all five fairs with ancillary screenings and soirees, and on top of it, Wynwood, the Design District, MAM, MoCA, the Bass, and MAC? I got tired just typing that. Locals have lauded the fairs for bringing in activity, but are they now competing with them?