Artistic Director of Paris Art Fair Resigns

The debut of the African art fair was postponed following the Paris terror attacks.

Timothée Chaillou.Photo: via AICA.
Timothée Chaillou.
Photo: via AICA.

Timothée Chaillou, artistic director of the new Paris-based contemporary African art fair Also Known as Africa (AKAA), has resigned after the first edition of the fair was canceled in the wake of the terror attacks in the French capital and the Malian capital, Bamako.

Chaillou claims that fair director Victoria Mann did not consult him about the cancellation of the event, and that he was only informed of the plans after the decision was taken, the Art Newspaper reports.

Director Victoria Mann eventually cancelled the event amid concerns over the sustainability of the event. Photo: lemonde.fr

AKAA director Victoria Mann canceled the event, over security concerns.
Photo: lemonde.fr

Chaillou told TAN that his decision to step down was based on “personal and professional” reasons: “[Fair director] Victoria Mann made the choice to postpone the fair without consulting me. […] I regret that this information was given to me after the decision was taken.”

In a statement issued shortly after the decision to postpone the fair, Mann explained: “60 percent of our participants consist of foreign galleries and artists, some of whom have shared deep concerns and recanted. We are forced to announce the obvious: a fair that does not meet its audience would be pointless for all participants (artists, galleries, and collectors). If economic results do not meet expectations we compromise the sustainability of the fair.”

The fair was scheduled to take place in Paris' Carreau du Temple. Photo: carreaudutemple.eu

The fair was scheduled to take place in Paris’ Carreau du Temple.
Photo: carreaudutemple.eu

She told TAN that she had a “very small window” in which to make the decision and decided to postpone the fair after seeking advice from the fair’s selection committee, participating galleries, collectors, and the director of the fair venue. Mann also revealed that Chaillou’s contract was due to expire in mid December, and that a renewal was up for discussion.

On his websiteChaillou describes himself as “an independent art critic and curator,” suggesting that he will continue to work on other projects on a freelance basis.

Meanwhile, the first edition of AKAA has been slated for November 9-13, 2016.


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