The business of arts and entertainment is as crucial as its creative side. In Out & About, we’ll report behind the scenes to understand the trends in that market, from the festival circuit to auction houses to design studios. So now when you go out, you’ll know what it’s all about.
Ai Weiwei: “Selling art is a very strange business”
“The value of art is very hard to determine” and it can’t be rationalized, says Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist and activist, who calls himself “a top businessman.” He discusses when he refuses to sell an artwork, the price of his activism, and why the U.S.-China trade war won’t end up as just a trade war.
Why female representation in politics and business matters
Fierce, fabulous and female. Artist Daniel Eisenhut is at the Kunst Zurich art fair exhibiting a portrait series that features 100 female leaders in business, politics and culture. With the most recent Swiss elections putting record numbers of women in parliament, some of the women portrayed by Eisenhut tell us why female representation matters.
Meet the first Swiss Barbie “role model”
Mattel has dedicated a @Barbie in the likeness of Swiss mountaineer and helicopter pilot @Evelyne Binsack. As new @Disney “Frozen 2” dolls hit the shelves just in time for Christmas, will Barbie keep up with the competition?
How Pro Helvetia spends CHF 42 million a year to champion Swiss culture
Pro Helvetia is Switzerland’s Arts Council and last year it doled out CHF 42 million to artists and their projects. As an artist, says Philippe Bischof, director of Pro Helvetia, “it’s easier to survive in Switzerland than in many, many other countries.” He tells Tanya König about his organization’s selection process, its international reach, and why it is now funding gaming.
The art of selling at auction
Alberto Giacometti’s “Lampe coupe aux deux figures” was the highest-selling piece last week at the Swiss Art Sale at Christie’s in Zurich. Tanya König followed that artwork until it sold and found out what goes into selling art at auction.
The flourishing business of Heidi
Well over a hundred years since she was created, Heidi is still an ambassador for Swiss tourism. Every year over 150,000 people visit the town of Maienfeld, where Johanna Spyri’s stories were set. And now the Swiss National Museum has unveiled the “Heidi in Japan” exhibition to celebrate the success of the Japanese animated cartoon that helped Heidi rise to global fame.
Grammy Award within reach for Regula Curti’s Beyond Music
Regula Curti connects musicians from around the world through her digital platform, Beyond Music. The project offers an alternative to streaming apps like Spotify and has caught the attention of the U.S. Recording Academy. And with the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Larry Klein, Beyond Music’s first collaborative album, “Same Sky,” has Grammy potential of its own.
Young Swiss designers make their debut on the Paris stage
The Swiss Fashion Association curated the first-ever Swiss Pavilion at the Who’s Next fashion fair in Paris last week, presenting eight young designers to an international audience. Karin Lorez, president of the association, and designer Claudia Nabholz tell Tanya König what’s next in the push to promote Swiss designers in Europe and beyond.
Geneva wants to dynamize its opera house
Aviel Cahn takes over as director of the Grand Théâtre de Genève in September. He tells Tanya König about his plans to put the opera house on the international map and how he will take it into the future by pushing collaboration with other Geneva-based institutions.
The Swiss festival that happens once every 20 years
5,500 costumed actors, 500 choir singers, 36 alpine horns, and 16 jazz musicians: This is the grandiose main performance at Fête des Vignerons, the Swiss wine festival that happens once every 20 years.
The blockchain venture that may bring transparency to the art market
Arteïa is a blockchain player in the art market backed by the Taittinger family, best known as Champagne producers. The company wants to bring greater transparency and liquidity to the art market and is working on a database to track the provenance of artworks. Co-founder Olivier Marian tells Tanya König why they chose Zug as a base and about their upcoming ICO later this summer.
Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and the protest against forgetting
He’s the artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries in London and one of the most influential people in the art world. Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist tells Tanya König how he’s fighting against forgetting by continuing his research of female artists. He also stresses the importance of keeping art institutions—like the newly-opened Shed in New York City, where he’s an adviser—accessible to everyone. The interview was recorded at Hyperion Hotel Basel.