The LISTE Interviews: Stephan Tanbin Sastrawidjaja

In partnership with E. Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers

Project Native Informant's presentation at Liste 2018. Courtesy Project Native Informant, London

LISTE first opened its doors in 1996 and since then has developed into a key art fair for new galleries. E. Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers has been a supporter from the beginning, and has been the main partner since 1997. The private bank, located in Basel, was founded in 1886 by Carl Gutzwiller and is still owned and managed by the Gutzwiller family and their partners. Ahead of this year's fair, ArtReview asked four LISTE alumni to reflect on their first LISTE, now the fair is open we speak to one of the current exhibitors. Stephan Tanbin Sastrawidjaja's London-based gallery, Project Native Informant, is exhibiting Flo Brooks, DIS, Hal Fischer, Juliana Huxtable and Harumi Yamaguchi on their booth.

How did you first get involved in LISTE? What was your experience of your first fair?

The gallery opened in 2013, and we first participated in 2015. LISTE is a very important and special fair for us, especially as a European gallery. In our first year, we presented new work by three collectives we continue to work with, DIS, GCC and Shanzhai Biennale. We wished to mark our aesthetic, cultural and political identity as a gallery, as well represent the artists we love and admire as best we could. In the first few days of the fair we placed work with the Whitney Museum of American Art as well as major foundations and collections, and made connections which we would not have made so quickly if we exclusively ran a gallery exhibition programme. Moreover meeting other galleries who are in similar situations is one of the unique characters of a fair like LISTE: sharing advice and information with our peers has been key in our development as a gallery. The first year was a great success, and every edition since continues to bring new opportunities for our artists.

What can smaller art fairs offer artists that the larger ones can not? How important are fairs for the gallery?

Art fairs continue to be a vital arena for communication for the artists and for the gallery. Aside sales, emerging art fairs such as LISTE, and Paris Internationale, interpolate an existing and growing audience for experimental work and are – combined with the existing gallery exhibition programme and with new initiatives such as Vanessa Carlos’ Condo international gallery sharing project – essential formats as they allow artists to resolve their practices and display in three dimensions, an experience which at the moment can not yet be displaced by digital formats.

What advice would you give younger galleries applying to LISTE?

As with all art fairs, we find it essential to visit and get an impression of its sensibility before committing to show. A gallery needs to make sure it works for their artists, as each is very different. Understand the risks involved financially, as there is no rush to participate, but when you do, bring the best work possible.