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.
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.