First launched in 2016, AKAA, whose acronym stands for Also Known As Africa, positions itself as the leading fair dedicated to artists from Africa and its diaspora in France. This rendez-vous awaited by art lovers, is held annually in conjunction with a rich and dynamic cultural week in the French capital, the place to be for the art world international community. Over the years, AKAA has remained true to its original vision, an invitation to discover artists who claim a link in their practice to the African continent. A contemporary look at these artistic scenes that goes beyond geographical borders, open to dialog, discovery and wonder without clichés or preconceptions. Thus, to accompany the artistic projects of its exhibitors, AKAA has created Les Rencontres, a cultural platform within the fair where artists, curators, thinkers, art professionals and visitors may express themselves and debate publicly. Through a rich program of conferences, screenings, performances and readings, Les Rencontres AKAA invites each and everyone to reflect on questions related to current artistic issues and the art market in Africa. For its seventh edition, the fair returns to the Carreau du Temple with new dates, October 20-23, 2022, to once again celebrate the contemporary art scenes of Africa and Paris.
Victoria Mann shares her views!
Director AKAA – Art and Design Fairr
Carreau du temple
4 rue Eugène Spuller
20 October: 12pm – 10pm (Collector Preview)
21 October: 12pm – 9pm
22 October: 12pm – 8pm
23 October: 12pm – 6pm
General Admission: €16
Reduced Rate: €11
Children under 12: Free
Art Book: €39
Director AKAA – Art and Design Fair
What would you say is the DNA of AKAA?
Over the years, AKAA has remained true to its original vision, an invitation to discover artists who claim a link in their practice to the African continent. A contemporary look at these artistic scenes that goes beyond geographical borders, open to dialog, discovery and wonder without clichés or preconceptions. AKAA is a space for artists, art professionals, art collectors and lovers to meet, exchange and contribute to the rise and strength of contemporary art from Africa and beyond on the French and international market place.
What type of galleries are chosen to exhibit, and why?
Our exhibitors are selected by a committee of art professionals whose knowledge and experience of these art scenes allow each year for a selection of galleries with cutting edge programs and exhibition projects for the fair. Over the past editions, AKAA has forged its place in the fair calendar as unmissable for high quality and discovery.
What is the price range of pieces? Who is the average buyer?
A wide range of prices are available, catering to different types of buyers, from first acquisitions to established and renowned art collections. We’ve seen artists being acquired by private and public collections as well as young collectors and spontaneous buyers being able to indulge in a “coup de coeur” as we say in french.
“AKAA is a space for artists, art professionals, art collectors and lovers to dialog, encounter, and contribute to the rise and strength of contemporary art scenes from Africa and beyond.”
AKAA © Teller Report
Who is the typical attendee of AKAA?
We welcome many different types of visitors, and that melting pot of attendees is part of what makes AKAA one of the most dynamic and pleasant fairs to attend. We welcome collectors, institutions and art professionals form all over France, Europe and the world. AKAA is on their calendars as a place of reunion and networking. First time visitors venture to AKAA and often end up staying longer than planned. And of course, AKAA would not be what it is without the many artists from all over who show up all fair week long and are eager to speak of their work and share with our visitors.
What strategy – physical as digital – will you adopt in medium to long term?
I believe it is most important to keep finding balance between physical and digital. Though I don’t believe the arts can thrive solely on digital presentation, virtual solutions are today a real added value to the physical experience, and that is exactly what we seek to offer. Every edition strives to be more and more accessible while encouraging our visitor-ship to enhance their physical connection with the art through digital solutions, such as our online Viewing Rooms, which open a few days before the fair and stay online until the end of November.
What are two other art fairs you would suggest?
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