SUPERMARKET has been arranged since 2007 by a small group most of whom are artists, and is a development of Minimarket, which was held at Konstnärshuset in 2006. Over the years Supermarket has grown into the biggest art fair in the Nordic countries featuring hundreds of artists from all over the world.
2006 – Minimarket
SUPERMARKET's precedor Minimarket started in February 2006 as a reaction to a new commercial art fair called Market. Minimarket was held at Konstnärshuset (the Artists's House), an Art Nouveau palace in the centre of Stockholm.
After a great response, Minimarket turned into SUPERMARKET. SUPERMARKET started to organise the side programme called SUPERMARKET TALKS, consisting of seminars, screenings, performances and presentations concerning current issues of the artist-run art scene. A catalogue for the exhibition has been released since this year.
SUPERMARKET 2008 took place in Enskilda Galleriet, a run-down industrial space in central Stockholm.
In 2009 SUPERMARKET moved to a newly built first-class designer hotel, The Clarion Hotel Stockholm. A theme for the TALKS programme was introduced, this first year it was Art of the future.
In 2010 SUPERMARKET moved to Kulturhuset (The Culture House) in Stockholm. Kulturhuset is located at Sergels Torg in the very centre of Stockholm, and since its opening in 1974 Kulturhuset has offered culture in all imaginable shapes. SUPERMARKET worked as an independent event taking over two floors of this popular cultural venue. This year we introduced SUPERMARKET MEETINGS – the networking/knowledge exchange meetings programme. The theme for the TALKS programme was Documentation/Non-documentation.
The first edition of the combined catalogue and SUPERMARKET Art Magazine was released. The theme for TALKS became the focus for the Magazine as well, this year being The Absent Hub, a theme upon which the contributing writers reflected on spaces for communication among art and artists. Since 2011 the AIM (Artists’ Initiatives’ Meetings) network has held conferences and public events in connection with Supermarket.
Supermarket got access to even larger premises in Kulturhuset. 2012 was also the year Supermarket introduced the Red Spot performance stage, with participating performance artists from several different countries. The theme for 2012 years programme and magazine was Waiting Room for Eternity, a poetic reference to time and space, toying with the idea that the world would end in 2012. Red Spot and TALKS was made in collaboration with Filosofiska rummet P1 (National Swedish radio) and Stoff (international theatre festival) among others.
Supermarket reached its peak in size and number of exhibitors: 88 exhibitors from 32 countries. The project received the BUS Award 2013 from the Swedish Magazine Publishers Association and the Visual Copyright Society in Sweden. The theme for 2013 was Happiness which raised questions about art, society and success. Some of the collaborators for Red spot and TALKS were PAiN and Riksutställningar.
The fair was still on two entire floors of Kulturhuset. The theme was Difference(s), focusing on diversity in the arts, leading up to a political TALK with party leaders and cultural policy spokespersons from seven of the parties in the parliament, led by KRO and broadcasted by SVT Forum (National Swedish television channel). Red Spot was organised together with Fylkingen (Stockholm's long established experimental performative arts venue). Due to a major reorganisation in which Kulturhuset merged into the City Theatre the arrangement of Supermarket became problematic and we had to look for a new venue for the coming year.
Supermarket took place in Svarta huset, located next to Konstfack – the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design at Telefonplan, an inner suburb of Stockholm. 2015 year’s theme was Representation, with debates and seminars about visibility/invisibility. Collaborators were Kultwatch and Konstgrupp Almedalen.
Svarta Huset. This was the 10th year anniversary of Supermarket Art Fair, and the theme, discussions and Art Magazine centred on discussing the development and changes in the past ten years of its existence.
Once again Supermarket took place at Svarta Huset, this year we got access to the second floor of the building, which allowed us to host more exhibitors (74). The year's theme was Intimacy, and looked at the precarious nature of interacting with contemporary art in postmodern age, as well as generally addressing the issues of forming intimate and in-depth relationships.
After three years we shifted our venue to the well known neigbourhood of Globen (Ericsson Globe). In the meatpacking district we secured a place that we affectionately titled "Slaughterhouse 5", given its meaty history and our fancy for Kurt Vonnegut. 'Legacy: Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left Of Them' was selected as the year's theme.
Supermarket 2019 took place in a newly built venue 'Sickla Front'. For the first time we introduced a new programme Supermarket Forum, and the yearly theme of the art fair was 'Temporary Moratorium: All Allowed?'
After having to cancel the international version of Supermarket 2020 due to COVID-19, we instead organised Superlocal 2020 – a local version of the art fair with 13 Stockholm-based artist-run initiatives exhibiting in their own venues around the city and Superlocal Info Point with programme of Talks & Performances at Kafe 44 in Södermalm.
The theme of the year: 'Fabricated'.
We are currently writing the history!
Development of the exhibition, number of exhibiting artist-run galleries and other artists' initiatives:
2006: 11 exhibitors from Stockholm, 2007: 17 exhibitors from 7 countries, 2008: 37 exhibitors from 9 countries, 2009: 50 exhibitors from 12 countries, 2010: 66 exhibitors from 20 countries, 2011: 70 exhibitors from 26 countries, 2012: 80 exhibitors from 30 countries, 2013: 88 exhibitors from 32 countries, 2014: 82 exhibitors from 29 countries. In 2015 we decided to cut down the number of participants to 64 exhibitors from 30 countries, 2016: 61 exhibitors from 24 countries. In 2017 we got access to a larger venue and could grow again, to 74 exhibitors from 25 countries. 2018: We decided to scale down with 53 exhibitors from 27 countries. 2019: 51 exhibitors from 25 countries, new programme Supermarket Forum with 130 participants. 2020: 13 Stockholm-based artist-run spaces, nearly 50 exhibited artists. 2021: looking forward!