An interview with Cécile Schall, founder and director of fotofever

Please tell us about fotofever paris 2017 and what’s new this year.
This will be the sixth fotofever paris and it runs from 10 to 12 November 2017 at the Carrousel du Louvre. We’ll be presenting 150 emerging artists and 80 galleries from France and abroad, 30% being first-time exhibitors.
We aim to promote collectible photography by reaching out to confirmed collectors, who can discover new international artists (and perhaps the medium itself if they are unfamiliar with it), and beginners as they take their first tentative steps in building a collection.
To put it more simply, our position is this: START TO COLLECT!
In 2017 fotofever continues to develop its commitment to new names in contemporary photography through, in particular, a section devoted to fledgling galleries.
The many visitors to the 2016 fair loved the flowing zig-zag floor plan so we’ve brought it back for this year’s show. It optimizes visibility for both the exhibitors and the artworks.
Also, we’ve doubled the size of the collector’s apartment so in 2017 there will be a 200 square metre home interior showcasing artworks priced under €5,000.
Design and execution have been entrusted to the celebrated French design brand Roche Bobois, in collaboration with talented scenographer Elizabeth Leriche.

What advice can you give to someone starting a photography collection?
My first piece of advice for young collectors would be to talk and share their ideas with gallerists, because they are the best placed to appreciate their artists.
They really are the starting point for any nascent collector who wants background information on artworks.
Equally, gallerists are mediators who bridge the gap between artists and their collectors, and it is they who unearth the most promising emerging talent for us.
My other piece of advice is to be vigilant and clearly differentiate between “limited” and “unlimited” edition prints, as the two terms are often confused.
In photography we talk of a “limited edition print” when the print run is restricted to fewer than 30, regardless of the format; while an “unlimited edition print” is produced in far greater numbers and sold by outlets other than galleries.
Finally, you must ask yourself if you could live with the artwork on your wall: it must really be love!
fotofever’s principal role is to select galleries which, themselves, have already selected artists.

What do you think of the photography market today?
The photography market today is not one but many markets. fotofever focuses on contemporary photography and, in particular, living artists who are represented by galleries and whose artworks are sold in limited editions of fewer than 30 prints.
As markets go, it’s dynamic but remains niche. Its development is hindered by unlimited editions because, after all, the value of an artwork is defined by its rarity.