After the experience in London, where Artrooms is now at its fourth edition, the fair will launch for the first time in Rome, Italy, from March 2 to 4, 2018. We talked about it with the co-founder and director Cristina Cellini.
Is the Italian edition a continuation of the London one? How do the two editions differ from each other? Which is the mission of this initiative?
The format of the Italian edition is essentially the same, i.e. a room for each artist. A main difference, however, is that in Rome we have the chance to enlarge the fair, adding two new sections: Video Art and a Sculpture Park. This has been made possible thanks to the structure and facilities of The Church Palace Hotel, where the fair will take place; indeed, we will use the hotel’s “Auditorium Cinema Bachelet” (with over 500 seats and a Dolby Surround 7.1 system) for the Video Art section, while the Sculpture Park will develop in the beautiful park of the structure. Despite the logistic differences and the new additions in terms of art sections, the aim of Artrooms is always to become a prominent reference point for galleries, curators and private collectors to scout international artists; in this respect, it is mandatory for artists who participate to the fair to be independent and not to have exclusive contracts with local galleries.
The call for artists is open until December 12. How does the selection process work? What are the most appealing aspects of the process for emerging artists?
Indeed, the call for artists will end on December 12. Artists will be chosen by our prestigious Selection Committee, composed by: curator Gianluca Marziani; Massimo Giannoni; the director of Ransom Gallery, Christian Fanneboeck Campini; Tiziana Kaseff Grilly, an expert in the real estate luxury sector; the President of the Italian Young Collectors Association, Antonio Valentino; Alastair Smart, Associate Editor of Christies.com; and architect Pietro di Pierri, CEO of The Church Palace. In order to enter the selection process, artists need to complete an application form including: 3 pictures of their works (even works, so that we can have an understanding of their style), biography and CV and a description of the project. The latter represents the most interesting part: artists have to tell us how they imagine the exhibition space, and whether they intend to turn it into an artist’s studio or an installation.
In the last fifteen years, the art world has been characterized by the development and growth of many new fairs. Do you think that the traditional art fair should be evolving? In what direction?
It depends on whether we are talking about fairs for galleries or fairs for artists. Until a decade ago, the concept of giving artists direct access to fairs was almost “heretic”. I am happy that in recent years there has been an exponential growth of fairs dedicated to artists, but at the same time I think that they should differentiate themselves consistently from the gallery model. I find it very upsetting when fairs give artists stands of 3 squared meters, with the wrong lights, in small warehouses … and for crazy prices! Indeed, in London, the average cost of participation ranges from £300 to £1500 per squared meter! In this respect, not only does Artrooms differentiate itself thanks to its innovative format, but also for not charging the exhibition space to artists. It is true that our selection process is certainly a tough one (looking at numbers, only 70 artists out of 1150 applicants were selected for the English edition of the fair), but the artists selected can benefit from free exhibition spaces, as well as all the marketing and the network activities linked to the fair.
The Importance of combination and contamination between new technologies and the art world: How is the use of digital technologies transforming the experience of fairs, and what kind of role does it have concerning Artrooms Roma?
We are still experiencing an experimental phase; personally, I find the idea of exploring new possibilities in the world of art very stimulating. From the artists’ perspective, new technologies open up to interesting contaminations, such as augmented reality -which literally allows us to “live” the work beyond the canvas- or the use of technology in installations. For Artrooms as a fair, technology allows to improve communication with collectors (through the use of dedicated apps, for example), or gives us the possibility to create certificates of authentication and digital archives for the traceability of the works. I hope that through technology, we will be able to make the art market more accessible and more transparent.
2018, from 2 to 4 March
Hotel The Church Palace
The Church Palace, Courtesy of The Church Palace
Catherine Salvargh, Leaving a skin on the border, Courtesy of Artrooms Fair
Emmanuelle Moureaux, I am here, Courtesy of Artrooms Fair
Maya Gelfman, Black birds, Courtesy of Artrooms Fair