This year’s first blog post reconnects to one of our returning galleries: Va Space. Regarded by many as an interesting artists’ initiative from Isfahan, Iran. We asked founders Mona Aghababaee and Samira Hashemi three quick questions!
In connection to Supermarket 2016 Mona wasn't able to get a visa since she hasn't got any children. Will she apply this time? Last time it stood quite clear that one of the terms was having children, and thereby a strong connection to Iran.
Our priorities in such programs have always been 'collaboration' and 'mutual understanding' and we find both parameters as forces in moving forward steadily and with focused energies. We believe that parenthood and its connotations should not be taken into account while evaluating professional qualifications. If the Swedish embassy were to process visa requests more professionally and carefully, without forcing its employees to come up with superficial justifications and excuses, it would only evaluate the applicant based on their request and its requirements. An artist, curator, arts manager, or any person involved in cultural activities, aims to create dialogs and establish deeper understandings, and would not otherwise apply for a visa in such context. If they were to seek asylum in a Western country, you are fully aware that channels far more effective could be thought of and followed.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you plan to show at Supermarket 2017?
Va in Supermarket 2017 is about the occasion of Va at Supermarket 2016.
This year's theme is Intimacy. Can you recall a specifically intimate art experience?
There were many occasion when a series of works show a narrative like some of the works together create a story that we can connect to.They create dialogs with each other, and the dynamic of that dialogue resembles something in our own life, thus deeply and intimately affecting us.
Today we are talking to Agnieszka Szablikowska, co-founder and curator of Galeria Raczej from Poznan - the only performance gallery in Poland.
Hi Agnieszka! Who are you?
I'm co-founder and curator of Raczej Galery in Poznan - Poland; which I lead together with my husband - Łukasz Trusewicz. I'm also Vice President of a Foundation which is creating a cultural district in Poznan in cooperation with a local social and cutural organisations, the City of Poznan and local councils.
Could you tell us a little bit about Galeria Raczej and the exhibition you have planned for Supermarket?
Galeria Raczej is the only art gallery in Poland which is focused on the presentation of performance art. For more than four years Galeria has presented about 90 artists from all over the world. The gallery also collaborates with other spaces, by co-curating international events with the participation of polish artists.
At Supermarket we want to focus a little bit on the problem of documentation of performance art. We will invite participants to interact with a performative installation by Łukasz Trusewicz presenting activities of the gallery. As well as that, every day we will have at least one live performance by invited artists: Paweł Korbus, Justyna Scheuring and Dominik Złotkowski.
What do you look forward to the most at this year's Supermarket?
Of course we look forward to meet all the interesting people from other galleries, as well for all the meetings with Supermarket visitors's and participants! We also look forward to the performances by our invited artists and hope to experience other performative events!
Click here for more info about Galeria Raczej.
Today we are talking to the artist Lizaveta Matveeva, one of the Project Managers at LUDA gallery, one of the artist-run galleries that will participate in SUPERMARKET 2016.
Hi Lizaveta! Nice to meet you. Could you tell us a little bit about LUDA Gallery?
LUDA gallery is a non-profit gallery that was first opened by the artist and curator Peter Belyi in 2008. It existed for one year in its first version and during that year Peter presented more than 50 solo exhibitions by St Petersburg artists, so there were openings almost every week, and towards the end of the year even more regularly. After the end of the project, a final large exhibition summarising the year was held in a different space and in subsequent years a series of several small exhibitions and large projects happened that were based on the experience from the first LUDA.
Today's LUDA is almost two years old and presents artists from other cities and countries. We are trying to study, uncover, explore and represent marginal, unknown and hidden micro-communities from other regions and countries and in this way compare them with our own situation and think about what unites and separates us, our similarities and differences.
At Supermarket LUDA gallery will show the project Metanoia. How would you describe Metanoia?
Metanoia (μετάνοια), the Greek for 'changing one's mind', is a personal project by the St. Petersburg artist Denis Patrakeev, who is representing contemporary St Petersburg minimalism.
Metanoia is about looking our mysterious surroundings in the eye, remaining alone, sensing reality in eternity, in a halted reality. Through print, fragility and links, through colour and inversion to the symbol, to anonymous consciousness and back to the beating of your own heart. The process of finding out, of identifying with everything, putting your own consciousness through the deconstruction of its chimera, from stereotypes of social programmes to the acquisition of experience of spacial undoing.
What do you look forward to the most at Supermarket?
We expect that Supermarket will become a forum for international representation for our gallery. We have created a certain reputation as an exciting, independent space where you can see art that you cannot see anywhere else in St Petersburg or to some extent elsewhere in Russia. We feel a need to move to an international level – to take a step towards organising and curating exhibitions not only in St Petersburg or Moscow, but in Sweden, Holland, England, France and elsewhere, because art has no borders – apart from the ones that we have ourselves created.
Today we are talking to Timo Soppela, artist and the director of MUU galleria about this year’s exhibition and good old times. MUU is a Supermarket veteran you could say, as it is the seventh time they participate.
Hi Timo! Could you tell us a little bit about MUU galleria’s exhibition at Supermarket 2016?
MUU has been developing different ways to present and promote the work of performance and sound artists, and we have also tried to find new ways to make their work accessible to bigger audiences. This year we will present Sound Art Bank and Performance Bank. These are internet databases of artists working in these fields. There will also be performance and sound art publications produced by MUU. A very special project by the artist Essi Kausalainen will be presented – MUU produced a community performance artwork for her last year, and this work was also commissioned by the Finnish State Art Commission. Kausalainen will also be participating in Supermarket’s TALKS program.
This is the seventh year that MUU Gallery participates. What is your best memory of participating in Supermarket?
It must be the first time, and that immediate feeling of noticing how great a networking event Supermarket is. But I have to say that every year the art fair has renewed itself and we have been able to achieve new things, and each time we excitedly look forward to the coming event.
Did it lead to new partnerships/collaborations in what you, or your organisation, does today?
We have made many new contacts, and done several new projects. Many of Supermarket's participants have became friends. We have participated in other artist-run art fairs in Europe. MUU has even, together with the Photographic Artists’ Association, organised our own art fair in Helsinki since 2005 (Art Fair Suomi), which last year, for the first time, invited galleries from outside Finland to participate.
What do you look forward to most at this year’s Supermarket?
The databases MUU is presenting for Swedish and international audiences are very much a work-in-progress, something we have been developing for years, and this development will continue. Sound Art Bank is really new, officially it was published only in February this year! So we're looking forward to feedback. We are also always looking for new artists to participate in our programmes. MUU’s sound art seminar will be held in connection with Supermarket during the weekend, and we wish artists and organisations working in this field to participate in the seminar.
We continue our series of three quick questions, and today we are talking to the artist Karl Georg Staffan Björk. His piece "Uitzicht" was chosen as this year's cover image!
Hi Karl Georg Staffan! Who are you?
I am a swedish artist living and working in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Recently I have mainly been making site specific sculptural installations that deal with and reflect upon situations that alter human perception; situations where scale, position, structure and function have an impact on our spatial awareness, both in real-time and as perceived through a memory or a thought.
Could you tell us a little bit about 'Uitzicht'?
"Uitzicht" (Dutch for 'view') is an installation based on my (infrequent) longing for the nature of my homeland Sweden and all its characteristic features; a wild and varied landscape, huge forests and steep hills, specific flora and fauna, fragrances and sounds (silence), and distinct seasons. But at the same time, it is an interpretation of the Dutch landscape; a landscape that is predominantly artificial – based on land reclamation and strict planning for maximum utilisation of land in terms of infrastructure such as housing, agriculture, transportation and recreation.
Based on this mixture – lack, fascination and longing – the installation was made as a contribution to the semi-artificial Dutch society, by means of transforming a memory of a viewpoint (in reality located in my hometown Huskvarna in Sweden) into an actual site in Amsterdam.
"Uitzicht" thus formulates a response to the typically Dutch phenomenon 'polder' (to reclaim land areas from the sea); establishing an artificial hillside inside of a residential building in the middle of an Amsterdam suburb, about 5 meters below sea level. The basic structure of the viewpoint consists of the floors and walls of the Modernist housing complex 'Het Breed' in Buikslotermeer – an area which itself is located in a 'polder'. The installation forms a scenography based on a personal memory, which is simultaneously complemented by the viewers' experiences, impressions and ideas of this suddenly non-Dutch landscape.
What do you look forward to the most at Supermarket?
Although I won't attend Supermarket this year I know that all these great big and small alternative art spaces will get together, meet and present their work for each other and the public, where the main goal is to get to know each other and inspire!
Click here for more of Karl Georg Staffan's work.