Articles and Features: Paris Gallery Weekend

Paris Gallery Weekend 2019

Interview with Marie Delas, Project Director, Paris Gallery Weekend

Marie Delas, Paris Gallery Weekend
Marie Delas, Project Director, Paris Gallery Weekend © Roeland Verhallen - www.roelandverhallen.com

"There’s a change of habits in the way people interact with and experience art, and it’s important for us to keep pace and connect with younger collectors. I think digital platforms, like Artland, can be useful for maintaining a presence, as they support what people can already do in the galleries".

Each year in May, PARIS GALLERY WEEKEND gathers a selection of almost 50 galleries across the city to highlight the dynamic liveliness of Paris’ modern and contemporary art scene. We interview Marie Delas, Project Director of Paris Gallery Weekend, to learn her thoughts on how digital platforms can change the contemporary art world, and naturally, Paris Gallery Weekend itself.

What are you most looking forward to seeing at Paris Gallery Weekend this year? 

This year’s Paris Gallery Weekend is going to be our sixth edition, and it’s only getting bigger and better. We’re focusing on creating pathways through the galleries, for both collectors and art lovers in general, so it’s easier for them to go from exhibition to exhibition. There is a rich programme of vernissages and rendez-vous, including openings, performances, brunches, cocktails, book signings, so it will be a very light and bubbly weekend. This year, I am looking forward to the gallery weekend itself, as there are a unprecedented number of galleries represented. We have 48 galleries displaying more than 60 shows in total. A lot of them are solo shows, which is one of the best ways to discover artists’ works. In addition, we have a total of more than 50 events, so I hope that visitors will go to the galleries, choose whatever entry point they want, whether they are following an itinerary, attend events from the Agenda or just exploring and making it their own. 

How has PGW changed during your time as Project Director of Paris Gallery Weekend?

At the very beginning, PGW had a different model. It was originally called CHOICES Collectors Weekend, and we decided to change the name to Paris Gallery Weekend two years ago, since a Gallery Weekend has become an instantly recognisable event, like Fashion Week. It rings a bell to people in the art world and also outside the art world. Apart from changing the name two years ago, we also worked with Matter of Fact, a communication agency in Paris, to redesign our logo according to our core business. When you now look at our website or our invitation, you’ll see a ribbon trailing across that looks like a path, which is meant to reflect our hope for new discoveries. I think it’s a much lighter, fresher and more pop identity.

One thing I’d also like to stress is that we are supported by a lot of partners, both public and private, who will organise private events for our VIPs. It’s important to us to make connections with historical art institutions to create links that last beyond the day. For example, UNESCO will host an evening of short movies on Saturday night, and VIP guests will be able to visit UNESCO’s modern art collection, as well as have a cocktail on the top of the building overlooking Paris. The UNESCO building, designed by Marcel Breuer, Luigi Nervi and Bernard Zehrfuss, is unique in and of itself, but their art collection is not so well-known, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase more art. 

Gallery Weekend Paris, 2019
Installation View, Candida Höfer, Face des Espaces, VNH Gallery
Installation View, Katinka Bock, Gallery Jocelyn Wolff, Paris Gallery Weekend
Installation View, Katinka Bock, Gallery Jocelyn Wolff
Paris Gallery Weekend 2019, Installation View, Jean-Baptiste Boyer, Laure Roynette Gallery
Installation View, Jean-Baptiste Boyer, Laure Roynette Gallery.

Could you talk about the decision behind PGW’s collaboration with Artland?

There’s a change of habits in the way people interact with and experience art, and it’s important for us to keep pace and connect with younger collectors. I think digital platforms, like Artland, can be useful for maintaining a presence, as they support what people can already do in the galleries.

What are you hoping Artland will be able to add to PGW?

I think Artland will provide the valuable opportunity to preview the exhibition in 3D online. In addition, I think Artland’s archival function is also very important, as it allows everyone to access the shows they still need after the weekend. I think Artland is a very useful tool for galleries, artists and the audience. Last but not least, it’s a young initiative based in Denmark with a strong international stance, and Artland’s mood and aspirations ties in well with what we are looking for at Paris Gallery Weekend. 

One of Artland’s goals is to increase the accessibility and transparency of the art market. How do you think digital platforms and gallery weekends can work together to achieve that?

I definitely think that as a gallery weekend, we need to work with online platforms, because people are less reticent about going on digital platforms than they are about walking into a gallery. As a gallery weekend, we aim to show how galleries are warm, open and friendly spaces, so that people who might otherwise be afraid to push open the doors discover an engaging and unique way to experience art. I think digital platforms also afford an important opportunity to communicate with people, who are sometimes more comfortable going online, or on an app. So both should go hand in hand, as complementary tools. I think it’s a win-win collaboration, in that everyone can gain new habits through these new collaborations.

"What we do is not only about one weekend, but also about helping people discover art differently".

How has expanding Gallery Weekends into digital spaces changed the contemporary art market and the experience of art? 

We are still at an early stage when it comes to gallery weekends, and even earlier when it comes to extending gallery weekends into digital spaces. I think it’s too early to see a change, and we are at the moment taking the first steps towards collaborations. People are behaving in new ways — I think and I hope that it will become more natural for people to go to galleries and use digital apps at the same time, not only during gallery weekends, but year-round. What we do is not only about one weekend, but also about helping people discover art differently.


What
Paris Gallery Weekend

When
May 17,18 & 19
2019