Established in 2012 as a counterpoint to mainstream art fairs, over the years, POPPOSITIONS has grown into the leading alternative market for contemporary art.
Acknowledging the crucial role of contemporary art fairs within the global market, POPPOSITIONS continues to seek new, experimental ways of presenting and selling art. More than an art fair, it is both a curated exhibition and an ongoing critical dialogue.
Working closely with artists, initiatives, curators and collectors, POPPOSITIONS hopes to collectively emphasise matters of shared concern. Thanks to its unique business model, participation fees are low, encouraging organisations that promote emerging talent to take part.
For the second year, Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, curator and writer at The Office for Curating (NL), is the artistic director. For the 2018 edition, the jury for POPPOSITIONS has selected 29 international galleries, artists’ initiatives and project spaces, from a diverse range of countries including Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Morocco, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The selection was based on artistic quality and relevance of the proposed projects to the theme of this edition. The result is 29 solo shows assembled into one single exhibition.
The title of this year’s edition, In Watermelon Sugar, has been borrowed from the eponymous post-apocalyptic novel by Richard Brautigan, published in 1968. The book is set in the aftermath of a fallen civilisation and focuses on a centrally organised commune that makes use of tools and objects made from watermelon sugar.
POPPOSITIONS will present artistic proposals that address matters of care in a world that is facing the unprecedented and rapid depletion of life forms and the increased instability of environments and ecologies due to the negative impact of fossil-fuelled economies.
The fair offers approaches that overcome old world orders to establish new grounds and imaginary horizons from and within these capitalist ruins, ranging from parallel worlds shaped in a fictitious vacuum to micro-cosmoses and biotopes that are situated within a given locality.
POPPOSITIONS hopes to draw an active worlding, combining science and fiction to set new horizons for cohabitation, collective adaptation and survival, emphasising entanglements between natures and cultures, as well as the fluidity of identities and digital infrastructures.
POPPOSITIONS highlights the ephemeral and transient aspect of art fairs and takes place in a new location each year. This year’s location, the former Atelier Coppens, takes the shape of a four thousand square meters functionalist Art Deco building, designed by architect E. De Boelpaepe in 1932. The building was conceived as a banana warehouse. From 1990 to 2012, Christophe Coppens, an accessory designer distinguished for his surrealist hats, settled in the building and galvanized it with an additional layer of curiosities and burlesque ornamentation. Following these different histories and bygone eras, the 7th edition of POPPOSITIONS aims to temporarily inhabit this site as to engage in active forms of worlding from and within the remnants of an old world glory.
As its previous editions, POPPOSITIONS 2018 promises to be a focal point for art collectors, representatives of cultural/artistic institutions, curators and art lovers from all over the world.