An overview of ART-O-RAMA 2014 in Marseille
11 sep 2014 by Francesco Lecci
art:i:curate contributor Francesco Lecci gives an overview of ART-O-RAMA 2014 Art Fair in Marseille, France.
It' s been a really nice three days in Marseille at ART-O-RAMA Art Fair, the city was really involving and the weather was sunny and warm.
But let's talk about art: the fair is in a renewed former industrial complex in the city center, Friche Belle de Mai, which currently hosts a variety of contemporary art and film production centers.
ART-O-RAMA is considered to be the second art event in importance in France, after the big one, FIAC, and it's known more as an introducing fair for new galleries than a top selling one, and that was the sensation through the whole weekend.
The galleries where mainly French and Belgian, but with a good representation from Germany, Spain, England and South America.
Some stands had more of a structured research level from a curatorial perspective, while other ones were more selling-oriented. The projects I appreciated the most, which were all solo shows, were Valerie Krause at Galerie Rolando Anselmi, G.Küng at Antoine Levi, Pep Vidal at Louis 21, Merlin Carpenter at MD27.
What I also found really interesting was the Milan non-profit space Gasconade showing works of emergent Italian artists, especially a new corpus of ceramics works by Matteo Nasini, and the performance of Marseille-born artist Benjamin Valenza in the fair's hall.
Even the collateral events were really good, particularly the group show Ce que racont la solitude, curated by Elena Lydia Scipioni, with works by Bas Jan Ader, Meris Angioletti, Alighiero Boetti, André Cadere, Ali Cherri, Mathis Collins, Jimmie Durham, Adrià Julià, Dominik Lang, Julia Meltzer and David Thorne with Rami Farah, Janis Rafa, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Gilad Ratman, Olve Sande, Nancy Spero, Benjamin Valenza, Guido van der Werve, all linked by the theme of solitude in the artists' practice and isolation as a possible condition of creativity in relation to individual or collective resistance, since the city has been, especially in 1941, a transit area for many european artists hoping to have a chance to leave for the U.S.
To be honest, another great thing about the fair was the reception parties at night, in stunning venues such as the old Marseille harbour and the rooftop of Le Corbusier's La Citè Radieuse, which made me realize how deeply art has permeated the city in the past and still does nowadays.
Images courtesy Francesco Lecci