Review of the 4th FATart Art Fair 2021 Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Updated: Apr 4


Exhibition view 4th FATart Art Fair 2021. (Works from left to right) Michèle Scaramuzza, Myrian Gauderon, Christine Lauebli, Miriam Siragusa, Alexandra Weidmann, Arina Antonova, Myriam Gauderon.

A UNIQUE PROJECT WITH CONTEMPORARY URGENCY:


FATart Art Fair took place on September 10 - 12, 2021 on the 2nd and 3rd floors of Kammgarn West in Schaffhausen. The fourth edition of the art fair and exhibition platform opened its doors with a multitude of 100 contemporary female and non-binary artists presenting a diverse as well as fascinating selection of works. For this fourth edition, the fair became even more international, with artists traveling not only from all over Switzerland, but also from Paris, Berlin, Mallorca, Istanbul, Cologne, Stockholm, Seoul and Dakar. Thanks to the growing trust for our project year after year, the FATart Art Fair also gained significant influence, prestige and relevance this time. While the first edition of the art fair gathered 50 mainly local artists, this fourth edition is decidedly more cosmopolitan, offering a platform to the works of 100 artists. During three days, photographic works, paintings, mixed media, sound objects, sculptures, drawings, installations, videos and performances were presented in the former 'Halls of New Art'. Among all these media, an equally wide field of artistic movements could be detected, including art brut, digital aesthetics, neo-expressionism, minimalism, conceptual art, neo-cubism, queerfeminist aesthetics, realism and neo-pop art. A stylistic as well as conceptual diversity with contemporary relevance that showed the high level of the art creators and the quality of their works.

Let the photos of the art fair inspire you yourself.

Exhibition view 4th FATart Art Fair 2021. (Works from left to right) Eva Oertli, Zoja Brülisauer, Birgit Krins-Gudat, Edith S. Ambühl, Nathalie Diserens and Catherine Kirchhoff. Photo: Irem Güngez

AN INFORMATIVE AND INTERACTIVE SUPPORTING PROGRAM:


In addition, FATart also presented a rich social program during the weekend, with two panel discussions and a presentation, all of which intended to discuss the current situation of women in the arts. Experts and artists from the fields of gender studies, art history, literature and visual arts were invited. Each event stimulated discussion with the audience, which immediately promoted the generation of social added value and new ideas.


4th FATart Art Fair panel discussion : Ursina Gabriela Roesch (left),

Dr. Phil Baumgarten (right). Photo: Maja Renfer


On Saturday at 1 pm the first panel discussion already took place between Dr. phil. Diana Baumgarten (scientific assistant University of Basel, Gender Studies) and Ursina Gabriela Roesch (artist and project manager FATart) about the results of the preliminary study "Gender relations in the Swiss cultural sector". It became apparent how strongly the current Swiss cultural sector is characterized by inequality and discrimination on a gender level. Exciting and revealing was not only the discussion between the two experts on stage but also the questions and remarks from the audience.


4th FATart Art Fair presentation by Kristin T. Schnider (freelance writer). Photo: Maja Renfer On the same evening, the thread of the supporting program was immediately continued. Freelance author Kristin T. Schnider spoke about her perspective as an author and explained her personal experiences in the literary world from the 1980s to today. In her presentation, she explored questions of change, progress and regression in terms of identity categorization and, together with the audience, examined the influence of this categorization on artistic creation, the "status quo" and on possible future perspectives.


4th FATart Art Fair panel discussion : from left to right Pauline Della Bianca (curatorial director), Angelica Tschachtli (director SIKART), Elisabeth Eberle (artist and archivist). Photo: Noëlle Berger.

On Sunday at 13h the last panel discussion took place with Angelica Tschachtli (head of SIKART Lexikon zur Kunst in der Schweiz) and Elisabeth Eberle (artist and archivist). Angelica Tschachtli first introduced the SIKART encyclopedia and its entry criteria, specifically addressing the discrepancy between entries on female artists and entries on their male counterparts. In turn, Elisabeth Eberle presented her eleven-year archive work 'Women* Counting'. Since 2010, she has been researching, collecting and analyzing the art world in terms of women's presence in exhibitions, in collections or even in panels. The exchange was informative and important points were highlighted: SIKART is already trying to adapt the entry criteria for artists and recognizes the urgency of this step for the future of the encyclopedia. At the same time, artists should also become active and publish information about their activities more openly or send it directly to SIKART. The audience also actively participated in this panel discussion. Clarifying questions were asked, which enriched the discussion.


Apart from the three enriching panel talks, there was also thought-provoking activity off the stage. Throughout the three days, ideas were exchanged and opinions expressed by visitors as well as artists. This feedback was not only gratefully received by the team, but also contributed to the development of the art fair: as a platform for open exchange, support and reflection.



THOUGHT-PROVOKING PERFORMANCES:


4th FATart Art Fair 2021 performance "fragile" by Lyn Bentschik.

(Works in the back from left to right) Eva Oertli, Zoja Brülisauer, Frauenzeug, Birgit Krins-Gudat, Catherine Kirchhoff. Photo: Irem Güngez Performances were also an important part of the art fair. The performance "fragile" by Lyn Bentschik took place spontaneously, without predetermined times, during all three days of the fair. A body, wrapped in bubble wrap, appeared in the space and moved slowly through the whole hall. It was exciting to see how different the reactions of the audience were to the intervention. While some visitors were delighted and even amused by the sight, others were fascinated and pulled out their cell phones, there were also those who completely ignored the body and rather perceived it as a distraction in the room.


The sound installation "Inside Absence" by the Atelier für Digitalstoffe could be experienced by the audience on Saturday from 14h. With the help of headphones and smartphone there were virtually placed sound bubbles to discover. An exciting and eye-opening installation work that could only be experienced digitally in space.



VISITORS & ART SALE


Exhibition view 4th FATart Art Fair 2021. artist Barbara Duisberg in conversation. (Works from left to right) Barbara Duisberg, Sarah Richani. Photo: Irem Güngez The biggest part of our budget was spent on marketing, as every year. Although a lot of advertising was done, the number of visitors was below our expectations. By talking to several people, we finally realized that this was mostly related to the short term introduction of the Covid certificate. Many people expressed that they would like to visit the fair, but that this was not possible because their peers or even they themselves did not have a certificate.

Although we naturally regretted this, we were equally happy that we were able to successfully run the FATart despite the epidemiological situation. In the future, we can only hope for the fastest possible increase in the vaccination rate, so that people can continue to participate in and support cultural life. Although the number of visitors did not quite meet our expectations, numerous works of art were nevertheless sold, contacts exchanged and orders generated. There was also a lot of positive feedback. The FATart Art Fair is first and foremost an exhibition and sales fair and provides the necessary framework for the sale of art by female and non-binary artists. FATart Art Fair ('Fair' in both senses of the word) does not charge any percentage fees; 100% of the sales go to the artists. The artists are independent entrepreneurs. It makes us even happier to hear that the weekend was additionally used by the artists as a space for exchange, mediation, feedback and networking.


Exhibition view 4th FATart Art Fair 2021. Artist Marianne C. Sané in conversation. (Works from left to right) Rahel Diethelm, Aylin Süer, Daniela Theiler, Marianne C. Sané. Photo: Irem Güngez
PRESS Review:

We are pleased that we have already received a lot of media coverage:


"Art away from patriarchy" - AZ, September 16, 2021.


"Putting women artists in the spotlight " - Radiot Munot, September 12, 2021.


"Where are the women artists?" - SRF Culture, September 11, 2021


"Coming out: I am a female artist!" - Schaffhauser Nachrichten, September 11, 2021


"HÜT IM GSCHPRÖCH - Ursina Gabriela Roesch" - Schaffhauser Fernsehen, September 9, 2021


"FATart Fair" - Kunstbulletin, September 2021


All articles can be found on our website: here.


The bloggers at the 4th FATart Art Fair:


Hulda Zwingli: here


Freya Sutter (on Facebook)


Raw and Radical : Women in the Arts Podcast: here


Exhibition view 4th FATart Art Fair 2021. (Works from left to right) Elisabeth Eberle and Maria Chaparro. Photo: Irem Güngez

SUPPORT :


The FATart team would like to thank very much for their generous support :

Frauenzentrum Zürich

Jakob und Emma Windler Stiftung

Jubiläumsfonds Schaffhauser Kantonalbank

Kanton und Stadt Schaffhausen

Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung (für die Panelgespräche)

SIG Gemeinnützige Stiftung

Temperatio



Text:

Pauline Della Bianca (curatorial director) and Maja Renfer (curatorial assistant).

All the pictures of the 4. FATart Art Fair will be put on the website at the end of October.