This edition will showcase a significant gathering of international participants throughout 10,000 square meters of abandoned office spaces. POPPOSITIONS is boasting a disruptive fair model catching visitors off-guard. It challenges the white cube format to show cultural innovation in a curated show.
LET’S TURN ART FAIRS INTO ARTISTIC LABORATORIES
While public authorities are ranking cultural production down in their priority list, the economic practice of the fair is being challenged. Can the art market be combined with cultural innovation? Conceived as an assembly of international organisations, including galleries but also artist-run spaces, curatorial initiatives and other non-profit spaces, POPPOSITIONS aims to occupy an independent, critical position during Art Brussels. With its international presence growing every year, POPPOSITIONS has built a cutting-edge profile that is here to stay.
This edition will showcase 39 participants who will present over 100 artists coming from all over the world (70% international / 35% Belgian), and all this combined with a rich sideline programme to include art publications, panel talks and performances as well as a themed bar and food trucks. In line with NYC Independent, Berlin ABC Contemporary or London Sunday Fair, white cubes are replaced by a curated show that looks more like an exhibition than sterilised, commercial fairs.
LET’S INVENT A NEW ECONOMIC MODEL In opposition to the political economy founded on the principal of productivity, the Fluxus artist and former economist Robert Filliou published his Principles of Poetic Economy in 1970, aiming at creating a new lifestyle (“art de vivre”). With this thought in mind, POPPOSITIONS commits itself to valuing new experimental and ingenious economies amidst the prevailing art market.
The selection is based on the quality of the proposed projects and not on the capacity to pay. Unlike the majority of art fairs, whether big or small, POPPOSITIONS asks for a nominal 200 euros participation fee and believes in the experimental rather than the commercial. Its entire team consists of volunteers and the entrance fee is just 5 euros. However, POPPOSITIONS receives a 15% commission on each sale. Convinced by the quality of the project, the largest Belgian real estate company AG Real Estate provided POPPOSITIONS, free of charge, 10,000 square meters of former-offices spaces situated by the canal, at easy reach from Art Brussels.
LET’S GET TOGETHER POPPOSITIONS was born from the initiative of Liv Vaisberg, who rounded-up fellow pioneers Pieter Vermeulen, Edouard Meier and Bart Verschueren to remodel the format of an art fair by introducing the vital need for critical reflection. Converging from various backgrounds, eager to join their diverse energy and experiences, they were shortly thereafter joined by an evergrowing team of like-minded volunteers to help flourish and challenge the quality of art production, presentation and spectatorship during Art Brussels.
POPPOSITIONS goes back to the source of art fairs, being a gathering of diverse structures curating and showing art, and taking advantage of the attractive location Brussels has become for contemporary art in Europe. A space will be dedicated to micro-publishing where Belgian and international organisations will present and sell art editions, thus contributing to the common thought on cultural production and the dissemination of contemporary art.
As a special feature of this year’s edition, a group of major Brussels-based collectors, who have been supporting POPPOSITIONS since its inception (Collection Galila, Collection Benedikt van der Vorst Collection Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Collection Cédric and Cookie Liénart van Lidth de Jeude, Collection Famille Servais), have entrusted young partner curators with the selection and display on 600 square meters of pieces from their collection acquired for less than 8 000 euros over the last 10 years. It fully fits into the aim of POPPOSITIONS by demonstrating that cultural value can also be found where the monetary value is reasonable. Curators, Les Commissaires Anonymes and Nicolas de Ribou , bring together a selection of contrasting works combining established and emerging artists under the title “Do you have ‘barbaric taste’?”, an in-depth reflection on the role of collectors defining cultural judgments and forming artistic hierarchies.
These new features add to the cutting-edge profile of POPPOSITIONS, an assembly of experimental projects that successfully manages to reinvent itself year after year.