Art Brussels was an overwhelming event; I’ve been to a few similar fairs before (most recently, at the Art Rotterdam), but this was the largest so far, and also very intense. Not only because of the huge amount of the galleries (170 this year) and the artists (2,000+, according to the organizers), but also because of the rich program of activities beyond the mere commercial side of the fair – there were debates and special performances, outdoor projects all over the city and night programs in some of the participating galleries. Ok, it wasn’t perhaps as sophisticated as Ars Electronica, but there I had five days to visit and explore all the presentations. Here in Brussels I bravely hoped to cover everything in one (!) day. And in addition I took a new additional role, I decided to write a few pieces for the Demotix news agency, and went to the fair as a ‘journalist’ (which I always am anyway, at least a photojournalist). I even managed to write something there, a short intro piece about the opening.
I then swamped into the laborious processing of all the images and videos I took, and all the leaflets, and flyers, and business cards I gathered – and I am still there! There was a lot of ‘just nice’ works there, but there were also a few remarkable projects, and people behind them, and I’d love to write ‘proper’ stories (at least, proper postings), and not just ‘been there, seen that’ kind of commentaries.
Above is an artwork by Nicolas Chardon, at the booth of Galerie Jean Brelly (Paris). To the extent possible, I try to take pictures not of the art work itself, but of how it’s seen, discussed, experienced by people: