LIFESTYLE - CULTURE

Luxembourg Art Week forced to go virtual



Luxembourg Art Week this year goes virtual given new government measures to combat the covid-19 pandemic Illustration: Luxembourg Art Week

Luxembourg Art Week this year goes virtual given new government measures to combat the covid-19 pandemic Illustration: Luxembourg Art Week

The contemporary art fair Luxembourg Art Week, scheduled to take place 20 to 22 November at Halle Victor Hugo, is adapting to the new government measures.

With the increase inb covid-19 infections, the government has taken new measures, limiting gatherings to a maximum of 100 people. This new constraint is forcing event planners to adapt.

“If you count the participating gallery owners and the necessary organisational team on site, we already have almost 100 people,” explained Alex Reding, the gallery owner who organises the event. “This limit imposed by the government no longer allows us to welcome visitors. We have no choice but to go virtual, which we fortunately anticipated.”

Earlier the team had hoped to be able to apply a limitation on the number of people visiting the fair--one person per 10m2--as is currently in place for supermarkets, for example. 

“Applying this rule, since we have 4,000m2, we could have accommodated 400 people in the hall, which gave us the possibility of accommodating 300 visitors. This is why we had set up a compulsory visit reservation system with [preselected] time slots,” Reding said.

“This measure would have been an acceptable compromise for us because we could have brought in a total of 6,000 to 8,000 people over the duration of the fair. Even though this was half of our usual attendance, we could assume that the registered audience was engaged and therefore interested in our exhibitors. But it was decided otherwise.”

A happily anticipated virtual version

Fortunately, the Luxembourg Art Week team anticipated this likelihood, and from the start considered organising a virtual version of the fair by working with gallery owners to offer an online platform. 

“We have found a technology that allows us to recreate a space close to reality,” explains Reding. “Using a 3D simulation, visitors can stroll through the fair and enter the stands to see the works." Users have access to information, such as the artist's name, dimensions of an art work, the materials used and the price. "If you are interested in the work, you can contact the gallery afterwards. To date, all galleries are playing the game of this paradigm shift and some even express relief,” according to Reding.

 "Carlota" sculpture by Jaume Plensa Photo: Luxembourg Art Week 

Moreover, as the change has taken place relatively early, the organisation is managing to curb many expenses and not lose too much money. Mand of the cultural events organised in parallel with the fair can also be maintained. It will therefore be possible, for example, to already discover the "Carlota" sculpture by Jaume Plensa, a monumental work installed at the Robert Schuman roundabout, in collaboration with the Galerie Lelong & Co. and the City of Luxembourg as a partner. “It's a special year, but we weren't caught off guard. We had envisaged this scenario and we are ready to respond to it,” Reding added.

Given the new circumstances, the dates of the fair have been extended and it will now take place from 9-22 November.

Delano’s sister outfit, Paperjam, is a partner of Luxembourg Art Week and an event supplement has been published as part of its November issue, which is now available.

This article originally appeared in French on Paperjam.lu and has been translated and edited for Delano.