„Unseen“, the annual celebration of new photography, returns to Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek from 18th until 20th of September. Unseen is the international photography fair and festival that focuses on new photography talent and unseen work by established photographers. Sasha Stone is the Managing Director of Unseen.
ruhr.speak: You are the Director of the Unseen photography fair that will take place from 18-20th Sept. 2015 in Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek. What is the purpose of this fair?
Sasha Stone: Unseen Photo Fair was created with the aim to provide a platform for new photographic talent. Nowadays there is a wide range of international art fairs and festivals and we felt there was a gap in showcasing undiscovered, unknown and unseen work by both emerging and established artists. The way the fair is created slightly varies from other fairs. Firstly, in its core, we have galleries representing international artists; secondly, in its periphery, we have a festival highlighting the wonders of contemporary photography and finally, at its base, the platform where professionals and artists come together to discuss the most recent developments taking place in the field.
In our previous editions, we have presented the work of more than 500 artists, represented by galleries from all over the world, we have welcomed an average of 24,000 visitors and we have created an environment that enthuses and stimulates young talent.
ruhr.speak: The fair will now take place for the fourth time. What has changed during this time and what will be new this year?
Sasha Stone: Our main goal is to show our visitors the developments that are taking place within the field of photography. Each year we strive to further develop the fair with an innovative and exciting programme. Unseen Photo Fair 2014 saw the introduction of premieres in its programme. Premieres are crucial as they feature works that have not previously been shown in any institution and these were greatly received by the audience.
By introducing Unseen Magazine we have also revised the Fair catalogue in order to provide a more engaging and informative magazine for new voices while allowing a closer interaction with the themes and artists featured at Unseen.
This year we will expand our festival from the Westergasfabriek to the City of Amsterdam. The new Unseen Amsterdam Festival will be brought to life more within the city, through collaborations with established institutions and smaller initiatives. Part of our festival programme will be dedicated to the partnership with organisations such as Foam, Stedelijk Museum, Eye Film Museum and academies such as the Rijksakademie and the Rietveld.
ruhr.speak: The distance from the Ruhr region to Amsterdam is at about 200km – and the same vice versa. Can you imagine a mutually exchange and what form could it have?
Sasha Stone: Absolutely. Unseen is above all an international fair and is always open to cultural exchange and collaboration. The Ruhrgebiet is a diverse and culturally vibrant region. Recently, Unseen held an event in Cologne that was very well received and represented a great opportunity to share our platform among galleries, collectors, artists and institutions.
Besides, the geographical proximity makes it really attractive to attend other events such as Art Cologne and the Frankfurt Trienale.
Fragen: Peter Liedtke
ruhr.speak befragte in seiner Interviewreihe „Drei Fragen – drei Antworten“ bisher Katharina Mouratidi, Klaus Honnef, Andréa Holzherr, Wolfgang Volz, Florian Ebner, Kerstin Meinecke, Fritz Pleitgen und Adolf Winkelmann.