1) What is Parallax and how does it differ?
Artists get bombarded with emails all the time for events. We know because we are artists too.
There are similar events as PAF in London all of which started after PAF. Some have been directly
influenced by it, because the owners either exhibited or visited PAF in the early days. So, what makes PAF different from these events? There are two ways:
a) PAF stems from the philosophy of art history, particularly the meaning of the art object.
Why you make art or design and how you think viewers are to supposed to view and think about it
is extremely important. You may not have realised, but, no matter where you are in your career, you do think about these questions all the time. The fair, then, did not start as “good idea” that popped into someone’s head or the desire to build an international brand to sell on at a profit. It did not start for commercial purposes. It is not about using artists and designers for financial or reputational ends. The fair is anti-
b) Stimulation of business skills and independence.
We know it is tough being an artist or designer for some. We understand the frustrations when you cannot support yourself from your work. We all hate secondary jobs, like flipping burgers or working in a gallery reception to make ends meet. We believe the present system is the problem because it keeps artists from learning about business and, importantly, doing it. We think it is bad when an artist is “represented” by a gallery or dealer or, worse, when they are “represented” by online galleries. It is also counter-
It is to counter these problems that our system at Parallax “Art” Fair is designed. We do not have a “selection procedure” in the traditional sense. Although getting “important” people in the art industry to “select” can appear to legitimise the art on show, it does not when you think through what is going on. There are philosophical and methodological problems over how it is possible to choose one art over another so the result is always naïve and contradictory in reasoning. Very often these events do not state their specific criteria that would at least help to legitimise “selecting”. They rarely do this because it would put off a lot of applicants. If you knew they were looking for specific things, there would be no point in you applying if you did not meet these requirements. But a “selection procedure”, as well as continuing an older way of thinking about art objects, also carries on the hierarchies amongst artists when they should be fellows. There is nothing worse than believing you are more important than another artist when that sense of importance is due to a very questionable and rather silly system. In contradistinction, we do not have a “selection procedure”. Firstly, because they are unjustifiable without specific criteria, which also makes them pointless in an art world that is incredibly diverse. Secondly, we are not running a school competition amongst artists, but a business-
Another way to stimulate business, is that we also break up the booths into smaller sections. This is not simply to be “affordable”, which is a passive way of thinking. We want you to be active so it we prefer to think of it as keeping your breakeven points down so that your risk is lower, especially if you are new to selling or not very good. You should never hire exhibition space on credit or through loans. You should also never be encouraged to do this by an event owner. You should always begin by working out how much you can afford to lose if you sold nothing at an event. This then becomes your budget and you should fit all exhibition costs into it. The idea is that if you are inexperienced you should start small and build up. At Parallax “Art” Fair, we also get you to design hanging plans (a new experience for most) as well as getting you to think about your work as products and in terms of marketing. All exhibitors are given literature on how to prepare for face-