Supermarket celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. How did it all start?
Andreas: It started as a happening. There was a meeting between artists’ initiatives held in a new space at Konstnärshuset in Stockholm. The newly established commercial art fair Market came up, and all of us were quite annoyed about how exclusive it was, and someone bursted out: “Let’s do a Minimarket!” The space already had exhibition booths - toilets and shower cabinets - thus it became a kind of parody of an art fair.
Pontus: Minimarket was us playing with all the usual art fair ingredients. We divided a really small space into Hall A, B and C, and there was this mad fair director who held an opening speech every 20 minutes and so on. We also rented sound equipment to announce mysterious activities going on in the exhibition. We were ten artist-run galleries who loved our visitors... and the visitors loved us!
Which year was it?
Andreas: 2006. A lot of people showed up, and already then the idea of having an art fair in the whole building was born. And the year after we changed the name from Minimarket to Supermarket.
Meggi: I joined the team as a volunteer in 2007. I had seen a flyer at a participating gallery in Gothenburg, where I lived back then.
What has happened at the artist-run art scene over the last ten years?
Pontus: Art has in general been marginalised. Media focuses mainly on dance, music and food, while art is only reported on when there has been a scandal. In many countries censorship is exercised, and artists have to flee for their lives or they get imprisoned. In those countries the artist-run art scene may be the only watering hole for contemporary art.
Andreas: Today artist-run galleries collaborate internationally to a larger extent than ten years ago. Supermarket has inspired other, similar art fairs in Russia, Norway, Serbia, Greece and Finland. I believe it has increased the self-confidence and the level of ambition among artist-run galleries. For many artists the goal is no longer to be associated with a commercial gallery. At the same time you get the feeling of us being perceived as a threat; there are probably many who dismiss exhibition spaces run by artists.
Is there a special event in Supermarket’s history you can remember back to?
Meggi: When we visited the artist-run gallery Duplex10m2 in 2011, a gallery in Sarajevo that was drained of energy after working with almost no resources for several years. They hesitated about participating in Supermarket 2012 as they didn’t know if the gallery would last that long. However, due to their participation in Supermarket, they got new energy and contacts. Hence instead of closing down they grew into Duplex100m2 and have since participated in Supermarket several times.
Andreas: When Johan Söderberg and Trio Electromundo performed at the opening night in 2010, and all the participating artists found each other on the dancefloor. It was a performance of world class and everybody was so happy, and we felt really proud!
Pontus: I’m always surprised by the number of people that show up! Ever since Minimarket the art fair has been crowded with people enjoying its insanely creative chaos. There was a moment at Kulturhuset when they had to turn off the escalator because of all the people, and last year at the opening at Svarta Huset the queue ended way outside the building.
Pontus: It will be an amazing art fair with a lot of partying as we celebrate our 10th birthday! Gosh, we never would have imagined it when we arranged Minimarket in 2006!
Meggi: Supermarket has throughout the years visited different locations in Stockholm. Perhaps we will establish a more long-term collaboration with access to a large venue. The future will tell.
We are happy to announce that Supermarket 2016 will be held 20–24 April 2016.
For the second time Svarta huset (“The Black House”) on Telefonplan will be the venue. The building is located next to the famous “Konstfack” art school – the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design.
The area is defined by LM Ericsson’s classic 1930s industrial buildings, reimagined with new content. The city centre is only an easy 13 minutes away by metro, and the station is right next to Svarta huset.
From October 20 to November 20 we welcome artist-run spaces from around the world to make an online application. For more information and how to apply, visit this page.
Supermarket 2016 will also be celebrating its 10 year anniversary!
The goal of Supermarket – Stockholm Independent Art Fair is to provide a showcase for artists' initiatives from all over the world and to create opportunities for new networks in the Swedish and international art scenes. It is also an art fair that strives to offer the visitor an experience, rather than focusing on sales. Artist-run galleries regularly staging public exhibitions in their own exhibition spaces and other artists' initiatives that arrange exhibitions and events with invited artists can apply to exhibit at Supermarket 2016. Individual artists or artists' groups founded only for applying to Supermarket will not be considered.
Application Deadline: 20 November 2015
Supermarket dates: 21–24 April 2016
Press viewing and Professional Preview Wednesday 20 April.
The Supermarket project committee
Today we’re talking to Seçil Yaylali who’s exhibiting with gallery Pasaj from Istanbul at Supermarket 2015. Her piece ‘‘Love to Love’’ was chosen as this year's cover image for Supermarket Art Magazine!
Hi Secil! Who are you?
I’m a visual artist based in Istanbul. My art practice is mainly on participatory art projects. I have done projects in different countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Italy, Spain, Germany, Palestine. I think life is more meaningful when you share with other people even the process of creating. Instead of a huge artist ego, exchange brings you a bigger satisfaction.
Could you tell us a little bit about your piece ”Love to Love”?
“Love to Love” is an artwork inspired by the pieces of skin of molasses layers produced in Anatolia. They are eatable and delicious. They are cut in the shape of a Hittiten alphabet letter which means “love, to love”. This product has been produced in the same land of the Hittites (in the middle of modern Turkey) and is still on the markets. I produced many pieces during several participatory events and workshops, then I asked participants to send by post their piece to someone they love around the world. So this sweet creates a communication between people and also past and today.
In the last step, I produced some light-boxes with a particular resin that hold the molasses down.
What do you look forward to the most at Supermarket?
First of all, I’m looking forward to see the whole supermarket exhibition. Such a fair sounds very human and alternative, I really liked the whole concept. Then I will be happy if I can meet some artists that we can do productive collaboration. In Turkey we have lack of funds for arts and culture therefore it creates a limited vision, we need to look further to widen our horizons. On the other hand Istanbul is one of the most requested destination with its unique atmosphere, structure, geography and life. I’m really curious and excited to be part of supermarket.
Click here for more of Seçil’s work.
We’re continuing our ‘Three quick question’ series with an interview with artist Tobias Dirty from gallery Urgente in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At Supermarket 2015 they will show art works from four artists exploring the idea of portability and mobility related to the difficulties exporting art outside Argentina. On this theme Tobias has created works that can be folded and transported in standard suitcases.
Hi Tobias! Who are you?
I studied at the National Arts University in Buenos Aires and have been doing both solo and group exhibitions and art fairs during the last years. I currently run Urgente together with a group of other artists. My work focuses on social issues such as gender theories, sexuality, work and discrimination through a wide range of media: drawing, sculpture, installation and performance. I reflect on these topics through physical experiences, forcing the spectator to participate and relate to them in a personal way. I really like to manipulate cliches and preconceptions to think about art’s real use and its potential as a reality transforming force.
Could you tell us a little bit about "Vagabond"?
“Vagabond” is a piece from the solo show I’m having in Buenos Aires at the same time as the art fair. It’s the result of a series of works about young people, their role in society and how they are perceived. It consists of a chart comparing young people and “vagabonds” (French for hobo). Also, when I made the actual piece I always had in mind how difficult and corrupt steps I had to take to export the piece properly, affecting how I made it and even its materiality. It’s because of those absurd bureaucracy processes that most, if not all, artists and gallerists end up hiding artworks in their luggage. So I thought of the piece in terms of functionality, I thought of a piece that could be folded, wrinkled, not ruined, and actually being complete by the fact that it was transported like this. I’m also showing another piece that is actual clothing and will be packed as such in my bags.
What do you look forward to the most at Supermarket?
I’m sure this experience will be fun and productive; personally I would love to get to know the other projects at the fair, and even go to the ones from Stockholm. It would be great to find a group with common interests and even some friendly bonds.
For more art from Tobias, go to his Tumblr!
Part two of our "Three quick questions" interview series! This time we've spoken more with Laura Ortiz-Vega and Gregorio Barrio from Antena Estudio in Mexico City about their collaboration and specifically the piece "Celula" which will be exhibited at Supermarket 2015.
Hi Laura and Gregorio! Who are you?
We are artists from very different backgrounds. Gregorio is a Traditional Artist from an indigenous group in Mexico called "Huicholes" and I am a Contemporary self taught artist from Mexico City.
Could you tell us about your piece "Celula"?
Laura: "Celula"is the first collaboration between Gregorio and me. This work is a combination of traditional techniques and contemporary urban imagery. As Huichol Art has been the most influential form of art in my work, having the opportunity to collaborate with one of the masters of this art, represents to me a more profund understanding of the culture of my country.
For me, "Celula" contains all the information necessary to develop a new visual vocabulary based on the traditional ritualistic imagery of the Huicholes and graphic elements of urban art. It represents the contrast between the old and the new but more than the contrast, it represents the balance and the point of departure to rethink and revaluate the tradition.
What do you look forward to the most at Supermarket?
We think that Supermarket is the perfect opportunity to share a part of our culture with a fresh and open public as are the Nordic people. We are very excited for our participation at the fair!