The design of the installation for Unfair 18, the Biennial contemporary Art-fair in Amsterdam, is based on the origins of the ‘fair’ as an spontaneously built extension of public life. A place of meeting, celebrations or trade. Historically the fair was as an architecture of temporary structures made of cloths and sticks.
At the same time Unfair is as much an art-fair as it is a temporary museum. Four folded walls, each of nearly hundred meters long and composed of different diagonal or curved parts, form the overall scenography for forty solo-exhibitions. Unlike the white wall of the museum, these are not treated as heavy and dogmatic, but rather as a festive, playful and permeable elements. Various openings are made for passageways within these elongated spaces. They invite you to discover and make a spontaneous route. In his design Tomas Dirrix uses the formal language of such historical fairs and in this way gives a new meaning to the art fair of today. The shapes of the openings are reminiscent of those in tents and play with the appearance of the hard material of the building boards.
Type: scenography / installation
Location: Amsterdam, Westergasfabriek
For: Unfair Amsterdam
Team: Tomas Dirrix, Ada Finci Terseglav
With: Peter van der Es (curator), Adam Nillissen (curator), Boris de Beijer (execution)
Photography: Jeroen Verrecht