Every year, SUPERMARKET is made possible with the help of our amazing volunteers. We caught up with two of our dedicated volunteers for their take on volunteering at SUPERMARKET (and more than once, actually). Scroll down to read up on the experiences of Pär (English) and Stephanie (Swedish).
Pär Elfventyr (SUPERMARKET volunteer since 10 years)
This year we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of having Pär as a SUPERMARKET volunteer. Pär has mainly worked as a photographer and he has thus been on the very front row of experiencing the artworks and performances. We talked to Pär about his experience with SUPERMARKET over the years.
How did you first come in contact with SUPERMARKET and what were your first impressions?
I was studying Museology and Curatorship at Stockholm University at the time, perhaps some ten years ago, when one of my classmates took me aside after class and told me about the opportunity. I figured, why not give it a try? I have been hooked ever since.
My first impressions? A complex chaos, organised by emerging artists to enrich the public by colliding it with contemporary art live, heads-on. Though for my own part also a small measure of anxiety, what was this, how could I help, am I doing enough? That sort of thing.
The first year I was only there for a day or two, as a do-it-all ferrying chairs and guiding people to the right floor back at Kulturhuset, which is where the fair was situated at the time.
The reason I came back for a second go was because the experience had been so interesting. To find a place in a society where my interest aligns with that of so many others, where I feel my presence can make a meaningful difference? Such a feat is rare indeed.
How do you feel that SUPERMARKET has developed since you first joined us?
It has grown smaller, if only due to lack of space (Kulturhuset was enormous) but it has also grown more cohesive. The various parts of the fair align better now in working towards a coherent whole.
What is the best experience you have had from your job as a photographer at SUPERMARKET?
Being a photographer let me see the fair from every angle, both from behind and the front of the scene, as well as the middle of it. I've done work for the management, for individual artists, for the fair-related magazines, political groups and galleries alike. I've documented art and people and secured the history of the fair in my own archive and theirs. Picking a single, defining moment from all of this? I would think that would be the same as my defining take-away from the fair as a whole: when the people I meet are thrilled because of something that I have done has a genuine positive impact on their day and/or life.
What advice would you give to potential volunteer applicants and people who are interested in visiting the art fair?
Don't be afraid of work. If you just follow this adage you will never be bored. There is always something to do and someone that needs doing it. The best part is helping out, full stop.
As for visitors: talk to the artists. There is nothing they love more than engaging with someone who is willing to lend them an ear or two, and they are almost universally friendly and unquestionably weird.
What are your favourite aspects of SUPERMARKET as a whole?
The mingling of people whose interests align with mine, and how I can make their day better just by being myself and helping out.
What are your dreams for SUPERMARKET in the future?
Doing more, essentially. Personally being there for more shifts, and I would like to see even more galleries from unexplored places around the world. Maybe there is some cool art in the middle of the ocean that we haven't reached yet? Maybe we can host the first off-world artist-run gallery once the colonies on Mars become operational? Maybe aliens will visit and be super confused as to why we staple masses of pulped carbon to curious arrays of poly-fiber and throw crushed bugs on it in seemingly random patterns.
Stephanie Lisak (volontär sen 2017)
Stephanie studerar socialantropologi vid Stockholms universitet och kom först i kontakt med Supermarket 2017, via en rekommendation från en lärare vid socialantropologiska institutionen. Hon var volontär igen 2018 och kommer än en gång tillbaka 2019. Vi passade på att att ställa några frågor om erfarenheten som volontär och vilka tips hon kan dela med sig av till framtida volontärer.
Hur kommer det sig att du sökte som volontär till SUPERMARKET?
Det var min universitetslärare som tipsade mig om Supermarket för ungefär två år sedan. Eftersom jag är mycket fascinerad av konst, kultur och framför allt människor var det självklart för mig att söka till Supermarket efter att jag fick höra talas om konceptet.
Hur skulle du kort beskriva upplevelsen?
Superkul! Det är ett både roligt och givande arbete som jag kan rekommendera till alla som vill veta hur en konstmässa fungerar. Som volontär på Supermarket har du möjligheten att vara en del av konstmässan från början till slut och det är en väldigt spännande process.
Vilka lärdomar tar du med dig från att ha arbetat med mässan? Upplevde du några särskilda källor till inspiration under din tid som volontär?
Jag har lärt mig en massa saker, men det som inspirerar mig mest när jag jobbar på Supermarket är att mässan började ganska blygsamt som Minimarket 2006, med några få gallerier involverade. Bara ett decennium senare har den expanderat och blivit så här stor med en mängd olika gallerier från ett antal platser i världen, Tel Aviv, Helsingfors, Madrid, Ottawa, Berlin, osv – så coolt!
Har din erfarenhet som volontär under SUPERMARKET fört med sig nya kunskaper generellt så här i efterhand?
Du får en superbra inblick i hur en konstmässa sköts. Innan du tillhandahålls pass får du kryssa i vissa områden du helst skulle vilja jobba med under mässan, listan är lång och du kan jobba med allt från att bygga upp själva mässan (förslagsvis bås till konstnärerna eller annat möblemang), till att assistera konstnärerna när de anländer med att installera deras konst eller vara behjälplig på annat sätt. Du kan jobba i samband med schemalagda ”Talks & Performance” där du ska vara en hjälpande hand för de konstnärer och andra inbjudna att prata eller på annat sätt medverka på mässan, eller du kan välja en mer cirkulerande roll där du får prova på lite allt möjligt under dagarna. Hursomhelst kommer du garanterat att få en både rolig och mångsidig erfarenhet att ta med dig vidare i livet.
Vilka tips skulle du vilja ge framtida volontärer?
Sök många pass både innan, under och efter mässan. På så sätt får du en övergripande bild av hur allt hänger ihop, det blir en grymt bra erfarenhet inför framtiden för dig som har planer på att fortsatt arbeta inom konstvärlden.
Are you interested in volunteering with us? Learn more right here or contact Paulina at email@example.com. Deadline January 10, 2019.
Our project manager Alice Maselnikova is currently visiting Vilnius, Lithuania upon invitation of artist and educator Marija Griniuk (who, among other, took part in Supermarket 2018's Performance programme). Alice's visit is part of the project 'Temporary Department of Time, Space and Action', an artistic intervention into academical curriculum, which presents different artist-run initiatives from Scandinavian and Baltic countries to local art students. The project was initiated and funded through BiteVilnius. Today, Alice delivered a presentation of Supermarket at the Vilnius Academy of Arts and took part in studio visits organised by the participating students. Tomorrow the project students are presenting their works as part of the Žingsniai action event. Looking forward!
Panel discussion: The conditions of artist-run spaces in Finland and Russia, presented by Supermarket – Stockholm Independent Art Fair in collaboration with the Finnish Institute in Stockholm
The panel discussion will start at 3pm and will be followed by networking and mingle.
The event is free of charge but please RSVP by 24th September.
The panel will be held in English.
SUPERMARKET and the Finnish Institute in Stockholm present a panel discussion on the conditions of contemporary artists’ initiatives in Finland and Russia. During the session, the panelists will discuss the situation of contemporary self-organised art scene in the two disparate, yet historically and culturally interconnected countries.
The broader culture-political problematics reflect in a smaller scale in the the conditions of the arts and culture sector. The existing frameworks for artists’ initiatives in Finland and Russia may be disparate in their funding and financial opportunities but share common patterns in terms of structure, applied processes and also visions and values. We will discuss some of these subjects with the invited panelists, all of whom have experience from different areas of the contemporary art sector.
Marina Pugina (curator, Perm, RU), Timo Soppela (MUU, Helsinki, FI),
Marja Viitahuhta (Galleria Huuto, Helsinki, FI)
Moderated by Alice Máselníková (SUPERMARKET, Stockholm, SE)
The panel will revolve around these topics:
- Conditions of artists and artist-run spaces, funding support and professional opportunities in Russia and in Finland/Scandinavia
- Collaborations and projects initiated between the two countries especially in the border area and in the peripheries
- Differences and similarities in the approach of local audiences and their perception and interpretation of contemporary art forms
- Relationship between institutional and non-institutional art scene
With the escalation of the East-West antagonism steadily fuelled by the media and politicians alike, it is essential to engage in a mutually interested discussion on the cultural and political situation in Russia and our relations to it. Geographically and historically, Finland and Russia share both common interests and dividing issues.
Shared projects and developed collaborations are vital for understanding the different situations of the art scenes in Scandinavia and Russia. In 2018, following the course of previous years, SUPERMARKET enhanced its focus on Russia and hosted three Russian artist-run galleries: Dom Gruzchika gallery from Perm, Gallery Ch9 from Murmansk and Elektrozavod gallery from Moscow. SUPERMARKET has been working to broaden its knowledge of Russian artists’ initiatives, expand its outreach and share the information with the public.
Marina Pugina (b.1992 in Perm, Russia) is a curator and art critic who lives and works in Perm. She has worked at the Contemporary Art Department of Perm State Art Gallery since 2015 and writes on contemporary art, street art, and self-organised initiatives. In the last few years she has been active as an independent curator in the artist-run space ‘Dom Gruzchika’ in Perm, Russia.
Marja Viitahuhta (b.1979 in Tornio, Finland) is a Helsinki-based media artist and filmmaker. She has been awarded internationally at Cannes (Cinéfondation), Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Mediawave and L’Alternativa film festivals. Her early work ‘99 Years of My Life’ is in the collections of both MoMA (New York) and Kiasma Contemporary Museum of Art.
Timo Soppela (b.1965 in Kemijärvi, Finland) has been the director of the Artists' Association MUU/MUU Gallery, Helsinki, since 2001. He has worked as a gallerist and art educator and in MUU he has organised hundreds of exhibitions and international events. He is a member of the board of HIAP Helsinki International Artist Programme. He was invited to the jury of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2018.
Alice Máselníková is Czech curator, artist and editor. She is the project manager at SUPERMARKET. She has curated a number of international projects and exchanges, e.g. as the guest curator at Umeå Art Academy (SE), the Faculty of Art and Design J. E. Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem (CZ) or the Transfer North curator-in-residence in Murmansk (RU).
Why not start the autumn season with a documentary? And, as you might have guessed already, even better if it is one dealing with the artist-run scene!
At Supermarket 2018 we had the privilege to host the first release of the Artist Run documentary produced by Ekkisens Art space and the Lost Shoe Collective. The short movie takes the viewer around the emerging artist-run initiatives in Reykjavík, Iceland and Neukölln, Berlin, Germany, and presents insights into the two artist-run communities. The documentary received a great feedback at the premiere in April, and for those of you who missed out on the event, we bring you a link right here!
A few days ago our project manager Alice Maselnikova set off to Perm in the Ural Mountains to present SUPERMARKET and the AIM Network by invitation of the Russian artist-run initiative Dom Gruzchika who took part in SUPERMARKET 2018. The event took place in the City Culture Centre and also comprised a panel discussion with the artists from Dom G. who visited Stockholm in April. Was it worth the trip? See for yourselves! (Yes)