Text: Juule Kay
The world is changing, and with it, a new generation of trailblazers is taking over. In our monthly series E-MERGING, we introduce the people adding to the cultural moment with their creative minds, new ideas and unique approaches. It’s a glimpse behind the scenes, a way to dig deeper and look beyond the picture-perfect outcome we’re swamped with every day.
Making it in the art world is a well-kept secret. One that is often passed on to the same old players dominating the scene. And yet, it doesn’t have to be like that. The Fairest is here to switch things up. Born in 2021, the hybrid platform for emerging artists not only challenges heteropatriarchy, but also gives long-overdue access to a broader creative community. “We wanted to bring different disciplines and different people together that wouldn’t necessarily sit in the same room otherwise,” says The Fairest co-founder Eleonora Sutter. Together with Georgie Pope, the curator duo decided to create an equally fresh and new take on the art experience by including voices and mediums you usually don’t find in the typical roaster. “The art market is not reflective of what contemporary art is,” Pope explains. “It’s still dominated over 90 % by painting.”
The Fairest is a place of discovery where performance art meets infinite soundscapes and mixed media merges with movement. It’s a counterpart to an elitist scene blossoming through the cracks of what we know and have experienced before. “We’re genuinely passionate and interested in the work we show,” says Sutter, underlining the importance of maintaining an emotional relationship with the artists and the audience. “It’s not just robots working towards capitalism,” Pope adds.
By creating a community driven ecosystem based on shared values, The Fairest shows that Berlin is more than just its renowned nightlife. It’s a collaborative city, which continues to attract thousands of young creatives from all over the world exploring their practices and identities. “What I find so beautiful is the density of artistic production happening here,” says Basel-born Stutter. “When you really have the determination, you can make anything happen in this city,” Pope adds, who exchanged the Australian Outback for the underdog of art capitals.
For both, it’s neither about your art degree nor how many solo or group shows you have under your belt – what matters is your vision and having something to say. “We want to be a platform to show urgent, relevant and shape-shifting practices,” explains Pope, considering art a powerful communication tool, “finding new ways of giving independent, young, emerging artists the opportunity to exist in the art market and the ecosystem as if they had a gallery behind them.”
The Fairest is here to make things lighter for artists who are just starting out. Here, the curator duo shares a few tips and tricks on how to get things going: First of all, never try to imitate anyone. Second of all, don’t cold call sending out your portfolio before doing your research. And last but not least, challenge your research, thinking and taste. “It’s really important to see as many different shows and to also go to what you think you don’t like, because you need to keep refining what your inspiration and input is,” they both agree. “It can’t just be what you think you like.”
Where would you land if you’re falling off the face of the earth?
TF: In hell or right back to the sand of the bush-beach or the outback of far away home.
What feeling should (good) art evoke?
TF: Confusion, presence, love, curiosity, hate and disgust.
What’s an unpopular opinion you have about Berlin’s art scene?
TF: That there is an art market here.
Tell us something that feels unfair to you.
TF: Access to the art world and market is still very limited and based on outdated hierarchies and models, making it hard for new projects, initiatives and reimagined platforms to survive.
Cronuts, cretzels, and cruffins, what fusion of arts would you love to see more, and what would you call it?
TF: FART (fair art).
- Eleonora Sutter (back) and Georgie Pope (front). Photo: Lukas Städler
- Performance impression by Miriam Kongstad and Alexander Holm for TF01: Open Your Eyes Again at Kühlhaus Berlin. Courtesy THE FAIREST.
- Antonio Onio performing DIVEOCEAN with Bráulio Bandera for TF01: Open Your Eyes Again at Kühlhaus Berlin. Courtesy THE FAIREST.
- Opening Impression TF01: Open Your Eyes Again at Kühlhaus Berlin. Video: Tatiana Makrinova
- KDV DANCE ENSEMBLE performing Tierra Quemada for TF01: Open Your Eyes Again at Kühlhaus Berlin. Courtesy THE FAIREST.
- Jon Aro performing I AMPUTATE at the Nike Vomero 5 Launch at Voo Store, Berlin. Photo: Vincent Wechselberger
- Sunny Pfalzer performing I KNOW WHAT TO DO with Slim Soledad and Lau Lukkarila for TF01: Open Your Eyes Again at Kühlhaus Berlin. Courtesy THE FAIREST.