Report in quotations from 'Talking Galleries', 19–21 September 2011, MACBA auditorium

A report in quotations from the first evening's two panels and the first session of the second day of Talking Galleries.

19 September 2011
15.30h: Welcome by
Ferran Mascarell, Regional Minister of Culture of the Generalitat
Jaume Ciurana, Deputy Mayor of Culture, Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation of Barcelona
Faustino Diaz Fortuny, Deputy Director General for the Promotion of Cultural Industries and Foundations and Patronage of the Ministry of Culture
Adriaan Raemdonck, President of FEAGA (Federation of European Art Galleries Association)
Llucià Homs, main promoter of the project TALKING GALLERIES
Bartomeu Marí, MACBA's Director




Llucià Homs: "according to an art market report commissioned by TEFAF (The European Fine Art Foundation), 51% of the art business is done by gallerists and 49% by auction houses. 30% of that is done in art fairs."

Faustino Diaz: "Galeries are the basis for the construction of value". "Galleries are a fundamental cultural sector for the economic development of knowledge". 

Mascarell: "Talking Galleries should connect Catalan art to the international trends and vice-versa". "Artists are the ones making sense of our world".

16.00 h: 'The new role of the Gallerist in the art market' with:
Casey Kaplan, Casey Kaplan Gallery (New York)
Claes Nordenhake, Galerie Nordenhake (Berlín, Stockholm)
Emilio Álvarez, Galeria Àngels Barcelona (Barcelona)
Moderated by: Ann Demeester,  Director of De Appel Arts Centre (Amsterdam)



Ann Demeester: "We are not able to project a 20-50 year future anymore"..."are galleries going to become agencies for artists or are they able to foster new experiments in a globalised 21st century?"; "Collaboration should not be an enemy of competition"; "Galleries are a site for free education"; "A gallery should perform an informal efficiency"

Emilio Álvarez: "The work of a gallery is articulated in connection with the past. Memory gives meaning, one constructs value through time". "Circuits of the artworld are closed, although the product we present is open."; "A gallery has a ongoing relationship with an artist and shows him/her continuously over time, no institution will give a solo show to an artist 3 times"; "A gallery has a single monogamous relationship, museums have plural relationships with artists." 

Casey Kaplan: We (with David Zwirner and Friedrich Petzel amongst others) have done New York Gallery Week (NYGW) twice now, but I don't think is necessary to repeat it again and again if, for instance, Frieze New York is starting in May 2012"; "We are taking the risks, we produce art, we research artists, basically we do it first and then everyone follows";"A gallery is about trust in your artists and them in you. Is a small family extension that grows organically. It's also about constant reinvestment in a new space, in a new piece, in shipping ridiculous works to art fairs to show your ambition."

Claes Nordenhake: "New art should be shown in galleries first, thereafter in art fairs, kunsthalles, etc. Not the other way around!"; "A gallerist is an eternal improvisor, a cleaner, a guard, an interior designer, a carpenter, a shipping agent, a graphic designer, a bookeeper, an art historian, a teacher and sometimes a professor, a therapist, a pimp and sometimes a lover, a storage administrator, a divorce councilor, a good banker, a sympathetic drinking companion, an arrogant bastard, an interpreter, a travel agent, a cook (professional or amateur), a waiter, a restaurateur, a philosopher (or at least in late hours of the night...), an actor, a business strategist, a secretary (where the boss is the artist)... 


18.00 h: 'Dealing with the economic crisis' with
Georgina Adam, Journalist Financial Times (London)
Robert Tornabell, Professor of Economics at ESADE Business School (Barcelona)
Soledad Lorenzo, Galería Soledad Lorenzo (Madrid)
Moderated by: Carlos Urroz, Director ARCOmadrid (Madrid)



Dr. Robert Tornabell: "The most profitable investments are first art, then gold, and then...I don't know!"

Georgina Adam: "The size of the market is U$ 43 billion: 21 bn in auction, 22 bn in dealership. The global share in 2006 breaks up in 46% for the US; 27% for UK, 6% for France; 5% for China, 16% Others. In 2010 is 34% for the US; 22% for UK, 5% for France, a huge increase to 23% for China and, 15% Others". "Today, there are 20 top auction houses, 11 of which are chinese, which did not exist a decade ago"; "Today money is not inherited, it is made."

20 September 2011
10.00 h: 'The future of art fairs' with
Victor Gisler, Mai 36 Galerie (Zurich)
Noah Horowitz, Director VIP Art Fair (New York)
Pierre Huber, Galerie Art & Public (Geneva)
Moderated by: Carles Guerra, Chief Curator of the MACBA (Barcelona)



Carles Guerra: "Barcelona was considering initiating a fair, but with ARCOmadrid nearby and seeing how profits stand now, maybe a meeting amongst professionals such as this, is the way forward"

Noah Horowitz: "The 1970s market was trade; today it's retail and event-led" ; "Going back to TEFAF's figures: 30% of the business is done in fairs, that's obviously an average figure because for some galleries fairs are 70% of their year sales"; "The VIP Art Fair is accessible, international, transparent, communicative, it is still a one-to-one relationship with the buyer"

Victor Gisler: "A gallery shows – tells – sells". "Art fairs like Art Basel have become so hugely important that they now validate quality. If an artits hasn't been shown in Basel, it may seem not valuable". "Initiatives like the VIP Art Fair are great for telling, maybe not so much for selling, but it is online, and that is the language of the next generation which you can not neglect, and one must embrace."

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