Opening 17:00-18:30 Friday 24th February 2012
Public Programme runs:
10:00-16:00 Saturday 25th February
Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
MFA students from __________ Royal College of Art Sculpture School (England) __________ Sint-Lucas Beeldende Kunst (Flanders) __________ Sheffield Hallam University (England) __________ Edinburgh College of Art (Scotland) __________
‘FAIR’ is run by masters students for masters students. Work will be produced in situ in the Sculpture Court over the duration of ‘FAIR’, punctuated by a series of events. All participating artists will contribute to a publication, available at the MFA Degree Show, May 30th 2012.
__________follow ‘FAIR’ on facebook
‘FAIR’ is supported by the Edinburgh Fund’s Innovation Initiative Grant www.edinburghcampaign.com
‘FAIR’ is unique. There is no other art fair anywhere in the world that exclusively exhibits the work of students; students are excluded from participating in such events by virtue of being students. Additionally, students are prohibited from applying for public grants that would enable them to initiate such a project, leaving art fairs at the behest of an established network of art fund investors, collectors and dealers. To break this monopoly, it makes sense for students to establish a community of purpose and build their own fair on their own terms. We hope that this pilot will establish the parameters for future occurrences of ‘FAIR’, both in Edinburgh and in the home towns of our guests. This is the first and only art fair for art students by art students, but hopefully, will be the first of many.
The programme of ‘FAIR’ is user-generated, it will emerge from the interests and desires of its participants which, for this pilot event, are postgraduate art students from Edinburgh and their guests from the Royal College of Art, Sheffield Hallam and Sint-Lucas Beeldende Kunst in Ghent. Participants will produce and install their own work in Edinburgh College of Art’s magnificent Sculpture Court. The work-in-progress will be visible to the public. As a means of hosting their guests, masters students Edinburgh’s School of Art have designed an accompanying public programme to run over four days.
The hecht o hospitality, art students are famously resourceful and well versed at holding exhibitions of their own work. ‘FAIR’ enables Edinburgh’s MFA students to gift much of this opportunity to their peers in other institutions. These tools for conviviality will generate mutual reciprocity and, thus, valuable, lasting relations. This will enable the masters students to experientially contribute to the reciprocal nature of the art economy as well as engage with the customary solidarism of the ‘Scots Cellar’, Robert Burns’ ‘social glass’ and Edinburgh’s uniquely ‘Democratic Intellect’.
A carousing party, ‘FAIR’ is unique in bringing together art students from different academic institutions for the purpose of holding a European art exhibition. Hitherto, the only other cross-institutional platforms available are national and competitive prizes run by charitable trusts and private collectors (e.g. John Moore’s, New Contemporaries). ‘FAIR’ is led by-students-for-students, as a participatory economy that benefits them directly, rather than as a competitive prize-fight that benefits the few.Vive la compagnie!
…wassail round, in good brown bowls The economy of art in Scotland is an all too familiar antisyzygy, for while Scotland is internationally celebrated for its contribution to contemporary art, infamously, it lacks a sustainable contemporary art market. Scotland has no contemporary art fairs and two of what were but six contemporary private galleries have recently closed. Despite this, degree shows in Scotland continue to attract a buying public from far and wide. It is worth focusing greater attention on such nascent commercial activity as it is key to generating more informed and adventurous patronage in Scotland for artists. It also benefits artists to run their own fairs, galleries and studios as it gives them greater control of their work and profits. ‘FAIR’ fills both a gap in the market and in the ‘professionalisation’ of our masters students. The programme of ‘FAIR’ will open the thorny question of the art economy up for further debate and action.
Sales Enquires should be directed to the -[Relay]-Desk. All of the works in ‘FAIR’ are for sale or exchange. -[Relay]- will take a 20% cut of any work sold, thus enabling it to establish a slush fund for the 2013 FAIR. -[Relay]- also welcome donations towards the cost of hosting ‘FAIR’.
News & Updates
Updates on the full programme of FAIR can be found on the Masters of Contemporary Art Programme Website: masterscontemporaryart.eca.ed.ac.uk
-[Relay]- is a society for contemporary art established by the School of Art’s masters students.
‘FAIR’ has the following aims:
To provide the social and economic opportunities of an art fair for international masters students in the visual arts.
To allow the School of Art’s masters students to establish valuable social and economic networks that will serve them well in their chosen careers as artists, critics and curators.
To enable the School of Art’s masters students to learn how to commission artists’ projects, and programme a schedule of practices, talks and events.
To generate an operational intelligence that is appropriate to the arts economy of the future.
To initiate a micro economy for art students’ work in Scotland without compromising the quality and ambition of contemporary art practice in this country.
To focus international attention on the qualities which make Edinburgh a uniquely vital centre for contemporary art.
Potential benefits of ‘FAIR’:
Students in the School of Art will learn how art fairs operate and critically understand the value and possibilities of situating their work in such contexts.
It is hoped that, in the long term, ‘FAIR’ will draw more attention to Edinburgh’s international graduate activity in the visual arts. Many more artists, curators and tourists will visit the city and will come to understand the vitality and dynamic of its significant artist-led ecology.