In the past months, I’ve been thinking about the route Conceptual Projects has been following since its inception. The platform generates many new questions for me every week. One that has come to my mind recently is how I can really offer a space that contributes to the development of emerging photographers.
How can Conceptual Projects really promote the work of emerging photographers? How can the platform help them to have more exposure?
Now that I am putting time and effort redesigning the whole website, I realised the unlimited opportunities that I have with Conceptual Projects. Little by little I am also understanding how important it is to maintain a relationship with an artist that I collaborated with and listen to their experiences and vision. Same happens with people from and outside the industry, they can offer a point of view that can help you to reach a wider audience.
After almost four years of sharing the work of artists in their first stages of their careers, I consider it is the moment to change the course of things and start doing something more meaningful for them.
Since 2019, more than 150 projects have been showcased on our Instagram profile. For me, this was essential to identify what artists were currently working on. The idea is not particularly original. There are many platforms out there that do the same thing. What it really brought me was being able to develop a methodology. This led me to generate an Archive which is available on our website. In addition, we have been publishing articles just about every month and have released limited edition prints of some of the artists we work with.
In this new phase, my main priority is to collaborate more closely with artists. Curating and writing are the lines I would like to follow and use Conceptual Projects to find opportunities for young photographers, but also to create them. I want to stop offering quantity and bring quality to every proposal I present. That’s why I’ve decided to close the Archive, to stop presenting a project every week and to enter a stage of creative revision of the platform.
Based on that, what type of content should we expect from Conceptual Projects?
I have been researching what similar platforms offer to young photographers. Taking into account that Conceptual Projects cannot yet sustain itself financially, I ruled out any improvements that would require a large investment of money, such as renting a physical space or turning the whole thing into a business. I have to be cautious on this.
However I do think there are a lot of things that don’t involve a huge financial investment. And here are some of them:
Another way to present the practice from emerging photographers
In recent years, galleries and institutions around the world have launched interesting online initiatives in the field of contemporary art. For some reason, spaces specialising in photography have not quite followed this trend and have opted for a more conservative approach. I think it might be interesting to explore some of them. Starting with the Online Viewing Rooms.
What is an Online Viewing Room?
An Online Viewing Room is a curated online presentation of artworks. It is one of the most common online formats used by galleries and selling platforms to present available works by their represented artists.
As you know, Conceptual Projects is not a gallery nor represents artists, but I see the model of an Online Viewing Room really feasible to achieve a better way to engage with the artist and its practice. We just have to reshape a little bit the (now) traditional model of Online Viewing Room.
Each Viewing Room will be dedicated to a solo presentation of an emerging artist during a month. Inside this page on our website, the audience will be able to see their work in detail or how it looks like in a physical show. We will also host audiovisual material that will help the audience to have a better understanding of the artists’ work or how these were conceived.
All of this will be scheduled in advance and supported by our activity on Instagram. Some of the material will be also posted on our Instagram profile, but the entirety of the collaboration will be published on our website.
Keep growing our shop
To make Conceptual Projects a financially sustainable platform, I decided to launch a series of affordable, limited edition prints by artists I had collaborated with in the past. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the impact I had hoped for. Maybe it was too soon.
I keep thinking about how to make the platform profitable. The prints are one of the options for the public to own an artist’s original work, directly supporting their career and, at the same time, the continuity of the platform.
Personally, I would like to continue offering limited edition prints on our website, as this is the only way to give back to the artist. Now that we are going to collaborate closely with a much smaller number of artists per year, it might be a good occasion to propose to each of them to host one of their prints in our online shop.
Getting into publishing
This is my main long term goal for Conceptual Projects. Publishing and photography are closely related. A photo-book allows the viewer to have a full understanding of the idea the photographer wants to convey. I always found the whole process of publishing a book fascinating and being able to contribute to the artist’s career is what will drive me to get into publishing.
Posting regular articles on our Medium profile is helping me to feel more comfortable when writing. I also assisted at several independent book fairs in the past year and saw what other publishers are doing. It is an industry that attracts me and I need to learn more about it.
This is where I find myself with Conceptual Projects. The tone of this article might not be the expected, but I wanted to be able to express what’s going on in my head with absolute honesty and give some context as to why I decided to take some time to reorganise the platform.
How can you get involved?
If you are a photographer, curator or writer and want to start a potential long-term relationship with us, don’t be shy, send us an email. Introduce yourself and your work. If you have an idea or a project you want to develop, share it with us. We are open to collaboration on the topics we have discussed in the previous paragraphs.
If you want to support our activities and the artists we collaborate with, you might be interested in acquiring a print. They are all available on our website and prices are quite affordable (between £60 and £80). We invite you to take a look at them and contact us in case you need more information.
For anything else you know where to find us!
Finally, I would like to thank everyone personally once again for supporting this one-man project, which requires a lot of time and effort. I am very excited about what is to come and I am absolutely sure that very interesting initiatives can come out of it.