Janice McNab ‘Soldieress’ 2010. 110 X 110 cm, Oil on linen
The hotel art fair is now something of a familiar phenomenon with various manifestations popping up around the world from time to time. This spring saw Trajector Art Fair taking place for the second consecutive year in Brussels, coincidental to the main art fair, Art Brussels. And, with Art Brussels becoming an increasingly influential fair on the international circuit, the audience that traipsed through the first floor and public areas of Hotel Bloom! in which Trajector Art Fair took place was a distinctly international one.
At the opening curators, artists, collectors and the occasional celebrity had the chance to wander through the interior of the hotel seeking out interesting presentations in unexpected spaces or to simply congregate in the airy public spaces and enjoy the party.
Expanded this year to include some thirty international exhibitors, including for the first time young commercial galleries, this ‘boutique hotel fair’ saw exhibitors from all over Europe and the USA present in the chic surroundings of Brussels’ newest design hotel. Some of those presenting in the accommodation rooms took the opportunity to respond specifically to the context of a fair in a hotel but there were also presentations of a type more usually seen in art fair booths in the hotel’s expansive conference facilities.
As is expected of any credible fair of contemporary art these days, in addition to the individual presentations by galleries and project spaces, there was a full and varied programme of special projects and thematic events and discussions. The highlights of these included the Belgian premiere of the seven film cycle by the acclaimed American underground filmmaker Lewis Klahr and the special Trajector commission which saw artist Jemima Brown create a new solo presentation specifically unveiled in Brussels entitled ‘Starlets & Other Stories’.
One of the specific things that distinguishes Trajector Art Fair from numerous other fairs is its ongoing thematic ‘Taut – Fashion & Art’ strand that explores the intersections between fashion and contemporary art and this year’s programme focused specifically on the idea of fashion and the moving image. Amongst the works shown, those that were immediately notable was the film work of Kristian Schuller looking at the waist in fashion, the solo presentation of the young Antwerp fashion photographer Yves de Brabander, whose work often references cinema and the London-based artist, illustrator and designer Julie Verhoeven.