The horrible tragedy that occurred in Paris left the entire country perplexed, and the grief-stricken nation of France is doing their best to cope with the situation. With the major landmarks closed for public, even the Eiffel tower remains off limits until further notice. The gravity of the situation caused for several events to postpone or even end their venues sooner. Paris photo 2015 closed early. The highly prestigious photographic art fair was scheduled to last until Sunday, but due to the unforeseen circumstances, had to shut down before the planned ending. French Ministry of Culture and Communication decided to close all cultural institutions in the region of Paris due to the coordinated deadly killings which left more than 120 dead and hundreds more wounded. The fair’s official closure was announced by Reed Exhibitions, the organizers behind Paris Photo, via a posted statement on their website on Saturday evening.
147 galleries from 34 countries were gathered in the capital’s Grand Palais to showcase everything from vintage prints to contemporary works across multiple genres within photography. With the world’s leading names in the medium, the most important photography art fair in the world bares the title for a reason. Daido Moriyama, Nobuyoshi Araki, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Manuel Alvarez Bravo are just some of the names whose works appeared at this year’s edition. Senior vice president at Reed Exhibitions, Jean-Daniel Compain, stated that the fair had already gathered 40,000 guests since the opening day, and that they were expecting more than 20,000 people in the remaining two days of the fair, and they just couldn’t take the risk after the Friday attacks. Even though the abrupt shut down will cause the fair a significant loss, the organizers could not but take the human factor in consideration. As Jean-Daniel Compain further explained, it is not just about business, they empathize with all the French people and all the world, and are extremely shocked and sad because of the nightmare that struck the nation.
With only 3,5 miles of distance between the sites of the attacks and the venue, the fair had already closed for the evening on Friday when the surprise attacks happened. Many of the attendees had gone to gallery parties and other events in the Marais, which is located in the neighborhood where some of the attacks occurred. Several galleries expressed their sympathies and support for the French, especially from Los Angeles, where the sister fair is held. Next April would mark the fourth edition of that fair. Alongside of the numerous gallerists and publishers, the fair attracted many independent artists too. Photographer and painter Ed Templeton was attending the event, after the incidents he posted a photograph on his Instagram which read: "Lives were snuffed out, families sent into terrible mourning, people were shot who survived and their lives will be changed forever, cities and governments will be altered, and then something as seemingly trivial as art — who cares what happens to art? But it's also part of the punch in the face humanity took last night. And we all go home licking some wounds with our thoughts on the gross loss of life, wondering if we will be in the crosshairs next time."
The financial losses for the art fair will be great, no doubt about it, but no one is focusing on that right now in the midst of all the lost lives. One thing is sure, next year marks the twentieth launch of the fair and it will certainly go on. Compain stated that it was a matter of civilization and culture, a matter of facing the barbarians. It is indeed the art that can perhaps provide the best consolation and some kind of elevation above the anger and grief in these situations, as the recent symbol of peace for Paris became a worldwide image of solidarity. It is important not to allow vicious acts like these to crush the human spirit and break us, but it is also crucial that we include a certain period of grief and find a way to cope with the devastating situation. The 19th edition of Paris Photo art fair aligned with the decision of the Ministry of Culture and Communication to close until further notice. Read the entire official statement of the fair below.
THE 19 TH EDITION OF THE FAIR IS CLOSED
Nov 14, 2015
Following the decision of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, all Ile de France cultural institutions open to the public, including the Grand Palais, will be closed Sunday, November 15, and until further notice.
Accordingly, Reed Expositions is very sad to announce the closing of the 2015 edition of Paris Photo.
Reed Expositions, the Paris Photo team and all the exhibitors extend their sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims of the attacks and share in the national mourning decreed by the President of the Republic. Reed Expositions warmly thanks you for your confidence, patience and courage in such circumstances.
REIMBURSEMENT PROCEDURES FOR UNUSED ENTRY TICKETS WILL BE PUT IN PLACE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
With warm regards,
The Paris Photo team.
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