Home Magazine A glance to the Art Fairs Future

Art Paris decided to postpone to 2021, and they are working on planning the digital experience and on their “Hors les Murs” programme. We had a new, interesting dialogue with Director Guillaume Piens on their plans for now and for the future. 

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Art Paris Director Guillaume Piens

Dear Guillaume,

We all patiently wait to understand the unfolding and future of art events, such as art fairs. I personally believe that what you decided for Art Paris Art Fair, to postpone it, was the right, reasonable solution under such circumstances. We are now reading about art fairs that will try to open nevertheless this year, but wonder how most of galleries react to such decisions. We are living in an uncertain period, so the practical gesture to make would be looking forward, thinking about the future, in this case, 2021.

Before then, are you going to use online projects to communicate about the fair — notably its 2020 edition? Can you share details on the online experience? How do you believe that your approach towards galleries and guests is going to change?

Although we consider art to be an intrisically physical experience, we also believe that these times of lockdown are giving individuals a chance to settle, digitally explore art, and potentially acquire it. More specifically, this suspended time is making us more receptive to the message of artists as we are facing existential issues while having time to reflect about our lives. 

As a result, we are currently developing online projects to communicate about the 2020 edition of the fair, in support of both galleries and, most importantly, artists, who both have much to contemplate on and share in these times — following its cancellation in April. We will be launching Art Paris Digital — the Art Paris digital experience — from May 27 to June 27 in partnership with Artsy. Thanks to this partnership, all of our galleries will be able to have their own, respective “mini website” on artsy.net for a 12-month period. Although this initiative was launched as part of Art Paris, there will be no limitations to the number of works presented on each website, and there will be a specific Art Paris Digital launch on the home page of Artsy.net and throughout its newsletters during the Preview days in late May and for the following month, in order to take most advantage of Artsy’s international reach and its collectors.


Gozde Ilkin, Gozde Ilkin [ ] Naturescapes, 2018. Courtesy Art Paris

In addition, we are producing virtual visits for our galleries located in Paris. Thanks to our partner Immersion 3D, Art Paris will be offering 82 galleries the opportunity to create a virtual visit of their exhibition spaces. These virtual visits will be hosted on our website pages, and galleries will be able to use and share this virtual visit on their own websites or social media.
Finally, we are launching a secure live video conferencing platform for all our galleries, allowing them to directly exchange with collectors. We are also developing a video module available on each gallery page on artparis.com — a similar interface to Zoom. It will provide a private and confidential means for collectors to contact galleries, by means of either a conference call or a video conference, thereby facilitating discussion and exchange.


Naoko Majima, Naoko Majima, In the secret forest, 2010. Courtesy Art Paris


All in all, these various digital initiatives seek to reproduce the physical art fair and honor Art Paris’s commitment to its participants. The lockdown has revolutionised the way in which we interact with others, but soon you will no longer have to make do with a static, impersonal website that offers no element of interaction with its visitors. 
We are looking forward to seeing this specific digital experience of a fair — and the results for the galleries. We are truly looking ahead and reaching back to our imaginations and deepest aspirations at this time, making them concrete — the minds of fair directors, curators, gallerists, collectors, art world professionals, and of course artists, are fusing together, and this is what art truly means.

Cover image: Gérard Garouste [+] La Martre et l'écureuil (Portraits de Kafka et Chouchani), 2019, work detail. Courtesy Art Paris.

Written by Rossella Farinotti

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