A new photo fair in Amsterdam named Unseen will have it’s grande opening for selected guests next wednesday the 19th of September 2012. The following day the fair will be open for public as well. The ambitious project, a joint operation of FOAM, Platform A and Vandejong and directed by Marloes Krijnen, who is also the director of FOAM, has the vision of revolutionizing the photo fair. Unseen intends to give new photography a platform it deserves, the fair ideally aspires to be: “a meeting place for young photographic talent, for known photographers with new works to show, for galleries that focus on new developments, and for an audience interested in discovering unknown and groundbreaking work.” In this world of new talent there is also a place for new buyers and collectors. The fair has it’s focus on this group as well: “we enable potential collectors to take the first step to buying work. With a special programme, we guide ‘first-time buyers’ in the world of photography and coach them in collecting.”
And to achieve these two ambitions, presenting unseen photography in it’s ideal form to new unseen collectors who are being assisted as much as possible, Unseen challenges the conventional ideas about photography fairs. This means they passed on the cookie-cutter stands, and try to show photography in a way that matches the needs of the individual works. The fair intends to be as exciting and varied as the work it presents; “it has to have the vibrancy of a real market.” Unseen is located at the Westergasfabriek, a good setting for the fair as it has proven itself with other major events during the last few years and has the industrial aesthetic which seems a good fit for the fair and its particular ambitions.
Unseen is divided in two sets of programs. On the one hand there is the Unseen Unlimited VIP Programme, consisting of different guided tours (by people like Colette Olof, Doina Kraal, Els Barents and Aarnout Help), artist talks (by Erwin Olaf and Maurice Scheltens and Liesbeth Abbenes), presentations and openings, sometimes with limited capacities and the need to reserve.
On the other hand Unseen offers the Public Programme. This program offers events like the Offprint book fair (A book fair of international publishers, artists and designers), Unseen Collection (A selection of photographs for prices under €1000), Fashion! Photographs from the Camera Work Collection, Unseen After Hours, Foam Talent Exhibition, Unseen Speakers’ Corner (with lectures of Martin Margulies, James Reid, W.M. Hunt, Simon Baker, François Hebel, Broomberg & Chanarin) and Unseen Cinema. For the whole program see here.
We are extremely curious to see if the photo fair will be able to live up to the major expectations it has raised for itself, but we will definitely find out!