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The Cape Town Art Fair's curator Andrew Lamprecht talks to ArtThrob

By M Blackman on 25 February

Cape Town Art Fair 2014

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Cape Town Art Fair 2014, . Banner

Our editor Matthew Blackman, in the week of the Cape Town Art Fair, catches up with curator and academic Andrew Lamprecht.  Lamprecht, who amongst many other things is a lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, is the curator of this year's Fair.

Matthew Blackman: You are the curator of the Cape Town Art Fair. What does this involve?

Andrew Lamprecht: I am the curator at the Cape Town Art Fair. Essentially this is a consultative role, giving the organisers input as to the way the local art scene is structured and being part of the curatorial committee that independently operates at the Fair. In addition I advised on the selection of the invited curator and consult with her on her project.

MB: Since the last Spier Contemporary in 2010, Cape Town has lacked a major visual arts event. What do you think the Art Fair can bring to the cultural landscape of Cape Town?

AL: It is definitely a time of focus on visual arts. You rightly point out that there has not been any comparable event for some time and it is always good to have such events which are not partisan but allow a wide spectrum of art and participants to be involved. In addition the fact that it is a commercial fair is important, as the Cape Town art market is undoubtedly growing. I look forward to it becoming a truly national and ultimately international event. There is also a strong focus on education of kids at this year's Fair, presented by Sovereign. This bodes well given the paucity of arts education at schools these days and again, I hope this aspect will grow.

MB: Considering so many visual arts events have failed on a sustainability level in South Africa, what do you think Cape Town’s Art Fair needs to do reach the goal of sustainability?

AL: The Fiera Milano Africa team strike me as being highly and passionately committed to this event. Given the size and prestige of the organisation I have no doubt that they will give full backing to it growing and developing. For the Fair to be sustained and grow it will require the full buy-in of the local arts establishment. It was discouraging for me when I heard a few grumbles before the last Fair even got off the ground (including such things "but they didn't consult me personally" from a well-known art personality). We tend to be so self-destructive and over-critical in the local pool. It is time to operate in a way where we can, united, present our best face to the world as a local art community.

MB: What for you is going to be the most exciting aspect of the Fair?

AL: I'm really looking forward to the kids' programme. They are going to be directly involved in the fair and that will be fun. Also, just seeing what the galleries offer will be exciting. Usually new work and sometimes new directions are shown at an art fair and I hope this will be the case here.

MB: Those who take a contrarian approach to the 'artworld' like to pillory art fairs with the claim that they are purely capitalist ventures that have very little to do with art itself. What would your response be to this?

AL: Welcome to the real world. The real world of art since the Renaissance.

MB: Which young artist do you think are worth having a look at the Fair?

AL: Lyndi Sales is showing new work as the invited artist, selected and curated by Ernestine White. Josh Ginsberg has a special project on and that will be exciting, I am sure. Also there will be performances by Gerald Machona and others. There will be a great deal of new talent on the various stands but I guess you will have to come to see....

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