POPPOSITIONS: Q&A with director Liv Vaisberg

24 Apr 2015

This weekend sees the return of Brussels' off-fair POPPOSITIONS. As an experiment on the art fair format it gathers galleries and other hybrid art spaces during Art Brussels.

We spoke to POPPOSITIONS founder and director Liv Vaisberg.

What was the motivation behind establishing an 'off-fair' in Brussels? And why does Brussels need a fair like POPPOSITIONS?

​LV: New York Armory show has Independent, Frieze has Sunday Fair, Brussels needed its quality off fair that is not a mimic of Art Brussels in less good quality. We wanted to be a platform for experimentation, for project spaces, non-for-profit.

Previous editions of POPPOSITIONS were financed by you and your team. Last year you started an impressive crowd funding campaign. Would you say crowd funding gives you more freedom? And what are the limitations?

LV: Well financing is always difficult. Either you ask a lot of money and only commercial galleries will participate. Or you want to maintain a very low price (currently 200 EUR) and therefore you need to be creative. This year we ask 5 EUR participation to enter of everyone, including VIPs.

Can you tell us something about this year's edition?

LV: This year's edition is taking place in a huge contrasted building that will be destroyed in a few months, a former post building. We were fortunate to get this for free and be allowed to experiment in it. We have a lot of interesting projects from all over the world (Mexico, Australia, Scandinavia, US....). 70% of our participants are coming from abroad, and many benefit from support from their embassies or Art Funds.

What are you looking for when selecting participants for POPPOSITIONS?

LV: Interesting projects. Good programme in general. Relevant positioning on the art market and art scene... Our curators Walt van Beek and Benjamin then managed the very difficult task of curating all the selected work within the space.

One of this year's features, Do you have 'barbaric taste'?, presents collector's pieces acquired for less than 8000 Euro. Is this a statement against art as an asset or investment?

LV: We just want to show that art is currently acquired for speculation and based on big names. Even the biggest collectors in Belgium are also buying following their "barbarian taste". It was a provocative move to host such an exhibition within POPPOSITIONS. We are very happy about it and the work of associate curators to POPPOSITIONS Commissaires Anonymes et Nicolas de Ribou.

Thank you!

POPPOSITIONS, 24 - 27 April 2015
Brussels, Belgium
Image: Poppositions 2015, taken by Dirk Cornelis

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