Fotofever 2018: the discovery of a bold photographic scene
For its 7th edition, the young Fotofever fair had nothing to envy to the famous Paris Photo or the many events that took place at the same time such as Photo Saint Germain, Approaches, Photo Paris Vintage Fair, among others. Cécile Schall, Fair Director, and Yuki Baumgarten, Artistic Director, saw things big for this new edition which took place at the Carrousel du Louvre and which welcomed no less than 100 exhibitors from 20 different countries and 250 artists.
Although ambitious, the fair does not intend to compete with its rival of the Grand Palais but to allow young galleries to exhibit in an international fair and thus offer photographers, young or experienced, exceptional visibility. In order to fulfill its mission of discovering and accompanying emerging players in the field of photography, this year the fair has created two new exhibition areas in addition to the main sector. La Ruche, composed of 40 "starter walls" (low-cost stands with a unique picture rail) offers emerging galleries or those with still fragile finances the opportunity to present one or two artists. The Independent Photography sector, organized in partnership with the American fair of the same name, presents a collective exhibition of 22 artists not represented by galleries.
© Javier Hirschefeld, courtesy Gratadou-intuiti Gallery
Among the novelties proposed by the fair are also a Focus on Japan, a space dedicated to women photographers and the creation of the Young Talents Fotofever Prize which offers three young photographers to exhibit for the first time in a contemporary art fair. Moreover, the "Start to collect" guided tours offers young collectors the opportunity to discover the photography market alongside Anais Montevecchi, a "decoder of contemporary art."
Visitors were able to admire the diversity of this international scene. Among the remarkable works of French photographers, those of Xavier Dumoulin, represented by the Artistics Gallery, invites us to reflect on our environmental impact and our obsession with keeping nature at bay. His series "Incandescence" evokes the problem of light pollution and shows twilight landscapes transformed by these luminous trails similar to lava flows.
© Xavier Dumoulin, Artistics Gallery
The Artop gallery in Lille presents the compositions of photographer Alain Bachet, who has been exploring the possibilities of polaroid for fifteen years. His large portraits, reconstructed thanks to the skillful assemblage of dozens of polaroids, revisit the aesthetics of digital technology. The polaroids evoke as many pixels or an Instagram wall and invite us to reflect on the obsolescence of current photographic media.
© Alain Bachet, Artop Galerie
The pixel motif also appears on the walls of the Gratadou-intuitu Gallery, which brings together the works of Julien Comte-Gaz and Javier Hirschefeld. While the former diverts the use of pixel by revealing in its nude images what is usually hidden, the latter uses it to raise awareness about the dissemination of images on social networks and the issue of identity protection.
© Julien Comte-Gaz, Gratadou-intuiti
The Spanish scene also had many surprises to offer us, especially through the work of two young women, Irene Royo and Gaël del Rio represented by the Grisart Gallery, who both in their own way explore the raw aesthetics of contemporary atmospheres, whether related to the disillusionment of youth or to abandoned architecture.
© Irene Royo, Grisart Gallery
© Gaël del Rio, Grisart Gallery
Finally, if Fotofever is an opportunity to discover new talents, it also allows visitors to admire the works of more experienced photographers such as those of the Greek Kostis Fokas, who, in the manner of Ren Hang or the Surrealists, plays with the aesthetic possibilities of the human body or those of the German artist Christine Erhard who creates impossible architectural spaces.
©Kostis Fokas, Nue Galerie
These are all original and bold initiatives that confirm the fair's desire to be a major player in the contemporary photographic scene on an international scale. In this spirit, Fotofever addresses a much wider audience, while encouraging collectors who want to support a promising contemporary scene.
© Christine Erhard, Kate Vass Gallery