zoo art fair 2009

Zoo Art Fair 2009
Shoreditch, London
16-19 October

As the London Art Fair is opening this week, let's have a look back on the Zoo Art Fair last autumn, and see how different the two fairs would be. The discussion below would emphasize mainly on the fair experience, while the photos show some highlights of the exhibits.

Entrance & exit of zone A

Zone A is made up of small booths for galleries. Interestingly ICA and the Serpentine Gallery also have a booth there. There are not too many booths in this area, and their size compared with the official cafe is a bit out of proportion. If the spatial layout permits, it would be good to have the cafe in the middle of a loop of small booths to increase the breathing space; instead of putting it in one side and squeezing all the booths on the other side.

Booths in zone A

ICA is selling art prints to fund its programmes

film showing at zone B

Zone B is dedicated to movies. While this gives a dedicated area solely for one form of art, it is  quite difficult to let a steady stream of visitors to watch every piece of videos duiring their stay. Perhaps due to budget and space limitations, only very few works could be shown on the projecting screen. The other works are shown on a small TV with a headphone. In order to give boarder exposure to the works, could they be streamed online in the fair's official website, say at least during the show period?

Installation and Exhibition Space in Zone C

Zone C is the most spacious among the 3 venues. And also it contains several areas of different characters. There is basement, ramp, rooms etc. for exhibitors to make their booth/display site-specific, and some did make an effort and did not disappoint to make an impression.

The space itself makes Zoo Art Fair worth the visit and of another character from Frieze in addition to the artists/works selection

Zuzanna Janin

video link

Lava (2008) by Takagi Masakatsu

video link 

Zoo Art Fair being hold at the same time of Frieze has got the advantage of the critical mass & all the media coverage. London Art Fair would undoubtedly be more focussed on local and regional works compared to the two, but being in London means works won't probably be confined to a local context. Already there is a strong emphasis and line-up on photography this year, with a day dedicated to this form of art which the public could easily relate to. It would also be interesting to see how the organiser arrange the space itself to make the experience worth re-visiting again.

Full photo set here

Further Readings -
Official website of Zoo Art Fair
Video Wall of thoughts from Zoo visitors at Winkball.com
Review by Nicholas Forrest (01.11.2009) at artmarketblog.com
Official website of London Art Fair