Independent is pleased to announce its new program and new dates for Independent Brussels 2018, now taking place on November 8–11, 2018. Following the recent appointment of guest curator Vincent Honoré, the program will mark the first of many initiatives aimed at transforming Independent’s gallery-centric model for art fairs.
Moving the dates to November will also create “a refreshing break from tradition” states Founder Elizabeth Dee. This year’s format aims not only to continue Independent’s success in fostering innovative presentations by galleries and institutions, including Belgian and foreign museums —but also seeks to innovate the model for art fairs in general. Independent Brussels 2018 will reframe the art-fair experience by adding a dynamic program of talks, performances and activations to the core experience. “We want to present a unique opportunity for talented galleries and institutions around the world to interact and collaborate,” says Dee. “We hope this sparks a new way of thinking about what an art fair can deliver.”
Since Independent Brussels launched its first fair in 2016, many international artists, curators and collectors have made Belgium their home following critical shifts in the global and political economy. Independent Brussels 2018 will continue to invite and work with an excellent international roster of galleries in concert with its primary partner, the city of Brussels, and continue to be located at the historic Vanderborght building. In its new format, an open festival of events will welcome performances, installations, talks, poetry, dance, music, and discussions to create an experiential atmosphere, resulting in an arena for experimentation, unexpected interactions and collective thinking.
“Brussels has established itself as a premier cultural destination in the last two years with increasing pace, and this has catalysed our desire to expand Independent’s possibilities here,” says Dee. “We want to encourage new interactions, new partnerships and new ways of thinking, and this includes the dates.”
"Independent Brussels will be entering its new phase with renewed ambition, reiterating its commitment to the city and its dynamism,” says guest curator Vincent Honoré. “We’re inviting galleries, non-profit spaces and museums of artistic excellence to explore new and often uncommon territories, and drive dialogues that support artists in novel ways. Our goal is that Independent Brussels becomes a festival of engagement.” For Independent 2018, Honoré will present a platform on the ground floor of the fair, welcoming poetry, dance, music, talks, discussions, installations, and performances. “It is a versatile exhibition with an unstable form, made of movements, rhythms and thoughts, bringing together artistic practices manifesting the themes in a number of contrasting, innovative and provocative ways. The project activates the space at all time, proposing an arena for experiences, interactions and collective thinking,” explains Honoré.
Independent established the first fair in 2010 at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York City and has grown to a network of over 250 galleries worldwide. Simultaneously an art fair, an exhibition, and a curatorial platform, Independent Brussels 2018 will explore a dialogue between historical, established, and emerging practices while also embracing more maverick positions. Participants will present a mix of solo, two-person, and historical shows, facilitating an experience that more closely resembles a biennial or museum presentation.