“Jennifer Flay”

Interview: Jennifer Flay

At this 44th edition of the FIAC, director Jennifer Flay is presenting 192 galleries. On top of its many stands, the fair is developing through its outdoor installations, scattered across the Jardins des Tuileries up to the Place Vendôme, as well as a performance festival. An interview. For this big yearly contemporary-art parade, once again, the fair’s boss hasn’t done things by halves. Voguish aesthetics and art-business rhetoric… Jennifer Flay is leading the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain – along with its paintings, sculptures, performances, installations – towards new summits. Namely with a staunch desire to anchor contemporary art more solidly in the Parisian space. The aim? To make this exciting event, held between Art Basel in June, and Miami Beach in December, one of the most stylish musts on planet Art.   This year, the fair is welcoming 40 new exhibitors – that’s quite a number! No, not really if we think back to the FIAC’s big overhaul period when I arrived in 2004, when we’d go up to 60 new galleries a year. Forty is a figure that has popped up quite naturally in the last few years. The new exhibitors are mainly young brands – including galleries in the Lafayette section, whose goal is to support emerging players – as well as design galleries who we’re delighted to bring back this year. This figure also demonstrates a certain stability: today, the FIAC is in the midst of a consolidation and stepping-up phase. Our event needs to be fresh and progressive – something that comes out especially through its state of mind. Last year, our big achievement was to close Avenue Winston-Churchill and to open up the sector to the Petit Palais, hence offering a new geography for the FIAC, but also for Paris.   In market terms,...

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Jennifer Flay, the art of management

Director of the FIAC, Jennifer Flay shares with AMA the spirit of this 43rd edition. Drawing the world’s greatest collectors to Paris is one aim, of course, but so is developing – alongside the stands – a programme that helps to the train the spectator’s gaze. What are the FIAC’s strengths this year? We’re very proud of the creation of On Site, found inside and around the Petit Palais; we’ve given the project this name to distinguish it clearly from the Hors les Murs project. On Site is a sector in its own right within our fair, and the result of continued discussion with the Parisian museum over four years, starting with a Jean Dubuffet sculpture, then three Liz Glynn works in the garden last year, or else a performance by Rachid Johnson. For this edition, which represents the hatching of our project, the FIAC galleries are proposing works which they wish to bring to the fore, either because they’re very big, or so special that they can be enhanced by this museum presentation. The Petit Palais will be unveiling a fantastic sculpture by Damien Hirst, a piano by Bertrand Lavier, and also a suitcase by Marcel Duchamp, because we don’t just deal with the ultra-contemporary. We can also find very recent creations by Etel Adnan, who is going to have his first big retrospective at the Institut du Monde Arabe, or else Wang Du, Joe Bradley, David Altmejd, Caroline Mesquita, Guillaume Leblon, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Yannis Kounellis, Noël Dolla, Not Vital… On the esplanades, we’ve chosen artists who work with markings and lettering on floors or walls, such as Lawrence Weiner, whose project has been specially designed for the site, or Jacques Villeglé, with his alphabet composed of letters picked up from his strolls since the 1960s. Or else...

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FIAC Announces its Agenda

For the 42nd edition of the FIAC, Jennifer Flay has unveiled an ambitious program while demonstrating a genuine commitment to focus on the quality of the participants. She highlighted the objectives of the FIAC during the press conference held for the occasion, stating the need to “being innovative and creative while maintaining a spirit of continuity within the conception of the event.” FIAC will take place from 22 to 25 October 2015. For the 2015 edition, 173 galleries from 23 countries will be present. The FIAC will show fewer galleries than last year (with 191 having participated in 2014). This is a choice of the organizers given limited exhibit space at the Grand Palais. The galleries will primarily be European (68%), with France being the most represented country, followed by the United States and Germany. Canada and Colombia will be taking part in the event for the first time. Nearly 20 new contemporary art galleries will make their debut at FIAC, such as The Modern Institute in Glasgow, and Luisa Strina in São Paulo. FIAC also plans to put forward young galleries. Jennifer Flay has highlighted the longstanding commitment of the FIAC with emerging galleries following the inauguration of the Court Square in 2006, the creation of the Lafayette Sector and the unveiling of OFFICIELLE last year. With OFFICIELLE’s dedication to young galleries, it is nonetheless a forefront event complementary to the FIAC. “OFFICIELLE is official” for Jennifer Flay. Based in the Cité de la Mode et du Design, it represents the new generation of galleries and permits them to dialogue on “an even keel” with the galleries exhibited at the Grand Palais. This edition will also witness the debut of the “Swarovski Series”. Every year, the house specializing in crystal and the FIAC will allow a selected artist...

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The 2015 FIAC announces its agenda

For the 42nd edition of the FIAC, Jennifer Flay, FIAC’s Artistic Director since 2003, has unveiled an ambitious program while demonstrating a genuine commitment to focus on the quality of the participants. She highlighted the objectives of the FIAC during the press conference held for the occasion, stating the need to “being innovative and creative while maintaining a spirit of continuity within the conception of the event.” The FIAC will take place from 22 to 25 October 2015 in Paris, France. For this new edition, 173 galleries from 23 countries will be present. The FIAC will present fewer galleries than last year (with 191 having participated in 2014). This is a choice of the organisers given limited exhibition space at the Grand Palais. The galleries will primarily be European (68%), with France being the most represented country, followed by the United States and Germany. Canada and Colombia will be taking part in the event for the first time. Nearly 20 new contemporary art galleries will make their debut at the FIAC, such as The Modern Institute from Glasgow, Scotland, and Luisa Strina from São Paulo, Brazil. The FIAC also plans to put forward young galleries. Jennifer Flay has highlighted the longstanding commitment of the FIAC with emerging galleries following the inauguration of the Louvre’s Court Square in 2006, the creation of the Lafayette Sector, and the unveiling of OFFICIELLE last year. OFFICIELLE is a forefront event in conjunction to the FIAC. Based in the Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris, it represents the new generation of galleries and allows them to dialogue on “an even keel” with the galleries exhibited at the Grand Palais. This edition will also witness the debut of the “Swarovski Series”. Every year, the house specialising in crystal and the FIAC will allow...

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Directing Paris’s FIAC: an interview with Director Jennifer Flay

Paris, 23 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). In 2003, Jennifer Flay became the Artistic Director of the FIAC, working alongside then Head Curator Martin Béthenod. Although, ten years ago, the fair seemed to be running out of steam, in 2013 it is celebrating its fortieth birthday, with the event having generated an enthusiastic response – built from the success of previous editions – and is offering a very high-quality programme. Its Artistic Director has taken the position of Head Curator, and Flay’s role in its development, which has once again placed FIAC at the centre of the art world, is uncontested. From 23 to 27 October, far from her native New Zealand, in the impressive nave of the Grand Palais, Flay is to oversee the major forces of Modern and Contemporary international art, coming together to take part in the Parisian fair which Flay has helped to resurrect. At the launch of this anniversary edition, Flay offered us an insight into FIAC 2013. What the new features planned for the fortieth edition of the FIAC? It is important to remember that the FIAC doesn’t focus on research at the expense of innovation. The criteria which help us to make our strategic choices, are ones of quality, pertinence and necessity. In fact, a very rigorous selection is effected in terms of the galleries that participate. This year, we have chosen to reinforce this choice by selecting galleries which exert power in the international market, such as Berlin’s Neugerriemschneider, and Brazil’s Fortes Vilaça, which is to be accompanied by four other Brazilian galleries, making this the first time that Brazil has been so prominent at the FIAC —, but also galleries such as Vitamin Creative Space from China, which represents the new generation of Chinese galleries. As well as this,...

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