Gallery Anxiety Forces ‘Tough Choices’ for the Moving Image Fair, Which Postpones Its New York Edition

Fairs should be responsive to their participants, the co-founder says.

Moving Image Art Fair co-founders Ed Winkleman and Murat Orozobekov. Photo: courtesy of Moving Image Art Fair.

The middle market squeeze is having a ripple effect—and art fairs are feeling it, too.

The Moving Image Art Fair has postponed its planned New York edition after several participants voiced concerns that they had made insufficient sales at previous fairs this year.

“The feedback we’ve received leading up to the New York version this year was that too many galleries were more than usually worried about the economy,” the fair’s co-founder Ed Winkleman explained in an email to artnet News. “Several of them also noted they hadn’t reached their sales goals in recent fairs, and so they were having to make some tough choices. We have opted to wait until our galleries are ready to host Moving Image in New York again.”

Specializing in video art, experimental film, and time-based installations and sculptures, the niche fair founded in 2011 has held editions in New York, London, and Istanbul. (News of the latest postponement was first reported by ARTnews.)

Winkleman says fairs—which have increasingly come under scrutiny as an unsustainable business proposition for many dealers—should be more nimble and willing to adjust to accommodate the needs of galleries and artists.

“We’ve made adapting the model, the fee structure, and the location of the fairs a cornerstone of our commitment to connecting galleries who support artists making moving-image based artwork with the institutions and private collectors who acquire their work,” he said.

Indeed, long before Condo-style gallery sharing became a model of choice for galleries who sought more flexibility than a traditional art-fair booth could provide, Moving Image allowed dealers to set up video displays at the fair and leave the display unattended if they wished. (Dealers left behind contact details so they could be reached by a prospective buyer.) Moving Image is also among the more affordable fairs, with participation ranging from $3,500 to $6,500 (including equipment).

This year’s fair was originally scheduled to take place between May 3–6, to coincide with Frieze New York. According to Winkleman, the new date is yet to be determined and will be announced in the coming weeks.

This isn’t the first time Moving Image has had to call off an edition due to unforeseen circumstances. In 2006, the fair canceled its Istanbul event after the city’s other major fair, Art International, decided to stay away amid security concerns.

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