Supermarket Art Magazine
Every year, in parallel to the art fair, Supermarket publishes the Supermarket Art Magazine. The art magazine is an important part of Supermarket’s public activities, where we share ideas and issues from the artist-run world, give voice to local and international contributors and introduce artists’ initiatives in interviews and short snippets. The magazine is formulated around a specific theme that changes every year. The magazine is distributed internationally and available to read online.
You can browse through the previous issues of Supermarket Art Magazine here.
If you have a proposal for an article or other contribution to Supermarket Art Magazine, get in touch with email@example.com.
2024 theme: Dream On
The Sandman is coming, it’s time to sleep; lest he plucks out your eyes – eats up your dreams.
Sandman is not your favourite night companion. He sneaks up on you when you cannot sleep and throws sand in your eyes as a punishment to make them bleed and fall out, and collects them to feed his hungry beak-nosed children who sit perched on the crescent moon. Or so goes the tale of the Sandman based on an old German saying and popularised by E. T. A. Hoffmann in the short story Der Sandmann. There are more bedtime-friendly versions of Sandman’s character, where he sprinkles good dreams into the children’s eyes, but dream on – we all know what he really is after.
For centuries it has been thought that dreams are channelled through us by gods to show us their will and design. Alternatively, dreams could just be caused by indigestion, as Aristotle pointed out. Wherever they come from, wherever they go, what would we be left with if we couldn’t dream up better worlds – ones we cannot reach, but that reach inside of us immensely?
The capacity to dream is one of the most beautiful gifts we have. Dreams predict the future and shape the past. Dreaming is limitless and ultimate; it disregards the circumstantial and summons inspiration, love, terror and beauty in the split of a second, but for eternity. We can laugh at the unrealistic dreamer: the artist, the poet, the longing lover, but with a pinch of envy for a vision which escapes us, for a universe we cannot inhabit.
With Supermarket 2024’s theme Dream On we evoke both your inner dreamer and inner sceptic. Let them converse and fight. Time is too short to not dream as much as we can, however brazen our dreams may be. Protect your dreams at all cost; listen and challenge them, but do not let anyone steal them. Dream up your castle, and let it collapse gracefully.
2023 theme: Twilight Zone
Twilight zone, or another name for the Earth’s terminator, is a moving border between the light and the dark dividing the planet into daytime and nighttime. While one half of the world is shrouded in shadow, the other receives the sun’s blessings. Ever since cosmogony the two have always existed as counterparts, one unable to exist without the other. Yet they are still perceived with very different connotations in a dichotomy highlighted throughout history in myths, religion, art and popular culture.
The darkness always lurks beyond the horizon, waiting to consume us; its creatures at the ready to carry us into the underworld to face the absence – the ultimate nothingness. The life of the darkness and depravity comes easy, if unwanted, yet the light’s existence is a constant endeavour to push through. No wonder, as its struggle is also that of morality: the good versus the evil, the righteous versus the damned. In Greek mythology we find many personifications representing this scale – yet what is sympathetic and relatable to our daily experience is that all of those characters are ambivalent; gods and humans alike, each one of them fighting their given nature, staggering in the insecurity and contrast that constitutes life.
What happens at the thin line between the day and the night? Is all that lurks in the dark that what we should fear? Or is it possible that the flickering light, unreliable and always ready to disappear is not the only bearer of good and beauty? Would life without the dark be a life worth living? We have become so comfortable at challenging our set views of what is right and wrong and instead accepting what is given to us. Perhaps lingering for a moment in the twilight zone can make us recall that every shadow is cast by a light.
2022 theme: Holy Fluff
Holy Fluff is floating around. It is many things, intertwining the spiritual and the playful. We take the serious, searching, lighthearted and joyous and put them in a hat to find meaning. We want to understand – and have fun.
Holy Fluff is our need for reflecting, believing, questioning, connecting with something beyond the daily reality. It is also longing for a simpler, lighter, carefree existence.
You wake up one day being spirited away on a cloud of fluff. Where are you going? Have you got your answers?
2021 theme: Shapeshifters
The idea of shapeshifting has been thrilling people throughout centuries in mythology, folk tales, literature, popular culture and religion. Shapeshifters can change their physical form, shifting between the human and inhuman, between one consciousness and the other, through skills granted by magic, good or evil, superpowers or divine order.
Shapeshifting is so alluring to us as it represents the possibility for a change for the better. It contains hope for a future contained in personal transformation, gives us power over our own destinies in times when we feel powerless; allows us to jump between dreams and realities. Shapeshifting is at the same time frightening as it serves as a reminder of justice, a righteous punishment to the wrongdoers, the fragility of existence easily tampered with by forces unknown to us. Acquiring a new shape was a common tactic of the Greek deities to implement their plans and passions – think of the ingenuity of Zeus transforming into golden rain to captivate Danae, into a bull to abduct Europa or a swan to reach Leda.
This duality of shapeshifting – voluntary and imposed, one a symbol of freedom, the other of confinement – is a mirror of real life transformations. Not every change is good or welcome. Changes feel better if we can actively take part in them. Life feels better if we believe ourselves to be powerful enough to shape our own destinies. Waking up to a bizarre reality preserves meaning only if we do not feel like a useless insect trapped in a scaled body in a small room.
This year marks the 15th international edition of Supermarket and over the time we have metamorphosed, grown and shrunk, transitioned and moved around. Continuous change and development are key characteristics of the artist-run scene – shaped by its variety, focus on cooperation, international character, underground nature, and simultaneously lack of visibility, precarious state of existence, gaps in sharing of experience and tiredness with the system. We do not know what this year or the next years will bring us, but we keep on shapeshifting, makeshifting, upshifting.
Alice Máselníková, Editor-in-chief