4 Questions for Pierre Moos
Paris, 12 September 2017
-You have directed Parcours des Mondes since 2007. How do you view the evolution of the fair and of the tribal-art market?
P.M.: Parcours des Mondes was created in response to a demand from tribal-art dealers. As its name indicates, this fair is an international event, open to all forms of extra-European artistic cultures. For around ten years now, we’ve been working on our communication strategy for the event: we devote 80 % of Parcours des Mondes’ proceeds on expenses relating to press relations, advertising and marketing. This publicity, coupled with that associated to the auction sale of key pieces, helps to raise awareness on tribal art all over the world, and this is positive. Finally, the recent opening up of the fair to the Asian arts proves, if proof were still necessary, the major role of Paris on the global art market. All these elements explain why Parcours is the world’s most important fair in tribal art today… To give you an idea, some dealers who take part in the event produce, in just a few days, three quarters of their yearly turnover.
-What do you see as the added value of Parcours des Mondes on the current fair landscape?
P.M.: Generally speaking, the multiplication of tribal-art fairs is a positive phenomenon for the market. The real problem is the rarefaction of major pieces: the work of the Parcours des Mondes team consists in offering to the public, despite difficulties, the best on the market every year.
-How does Parcours des Mondes work with exhibitors on vetting?
P.M.: This is a crucial question, and another evolution to credit to the fair’s takeover in 2007 [editorial note: when it was bought from Rik Gadella who founded the fair in 2002]. Indeed, vetting is now one of the cornerstones of the fair’s organisation, which wasn’t the case previously. We only select pieces and dealers who meet high criteria on quality, thus offering collectors a guarantee on the authenticity of objects. It should also be noted that we pay crucial attention to the commercial and cultural ethics of all dealers taking part in the event. Confidence is the key to a serene market: this is why we don’t hesitate to turn down applications that we consider inadequate every year.
-How is the taste of collectors evolving?
P.M.: African pieces have always been, and remain, the “stars” of the tribal-art market. But Pacific and Southeast Asian arts have met with growing favour from collectors in the last few years. This is, without a doubt, an emerging market on which it’s still possible to find bargains… But tribal art is and should remain, above all, a question of passion and aesthetics, a privileged opportunity to discover the wealth of the different cultures that coexist around the planet. In the end, a means to get to know oneself better.
Parcours des mondes From Wednesday 13 to Sunday 17 September, 11h to 19h. Opening: Tuesday, 12 septembre 15h to 21h. Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris 6e. www.parcours-des-mondes.com