The art fair Supermarket (Stockholm Independent Art Fair) is taking place in Stockholm from February 17-19; it differs from other fairs in that it only features galleries, art centers and other artistic initiatives that are run by the artists themselves. This year, groups from the Baltic States are taking part in Supermarket for the first time – the art centers Totaldobže (Riga, VEF) and Serde (Aizpute) from Latvia, and Art Container and Ptarmigan from Estonia's capital city of Tallinn.
The first Supermarket was organized by a small group of artists in 2006. At first, it was called Minimarket; but with every year, the number of participants and visitors increased so greatly that they changed both the name and venue of the art fair. Since 2010, Supermarket has been held annually at Kulturhuset, which has been the principal center for contemporary culture in Stockholm since the 1970's.
“Artist-run” means that the business ends of the exhibition spaces and other initiatives are solely in the hands of the artists. Rarely are they commercially successful, since the nature of their activities is experimental, focusing on the creation of innovative and non-material societal values. “In our case, the creation of an art center was an attempt to bring together artists, curators and other interested parties so that they could work more effectively and qualitatively in the field of contemporary art; we also wanted to make a new and different platform where both artists and non-artists could meet,” explains Kaspars Lielgalvis, artist and director of Totaldobže. The organizers of Supermarket are expecting visitor numbers of about 7000 this year. Totaldobže's stand will be staffed by the Latvian artists Laura Prikule, Kaspars Lielgalvis and Eva Vēvere, as well as by the young lawyer Ilze Sirmā, from the art center's volunteer pool. The stand itself will be set up like a station for “idea planting”, using worktables from the old VEF factory. Laura started the “idea planting” project back in 2008, inviting people to her studio to “plant” their ideas in little flower pots. Retaining the same basic idea, the project has been expanded with various elements that will help the people “planting” actually bring their ideas to life.