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Catch the Art Bug and join our Club!

Image credit: 'ArtCarBootopia' by Adam Dant. View in detail the on the Art Car Boot Fair website on Sunday, 4th October here.

For the first time ever the Art Car Boot Fair is running their event online. The pandemic proof 'Viral' ACBF will take place on Sunday 4th October from 12pm to 6pm. Launching a brand new bespoke website designed to bring the anticipation, the buzz, the direct interactions, unexpected delights, random art drops, countdowns and all manner of surprises to our art loving readers! All the fun of the Art Car Boot Fair will come direct to you with spectacular boot fair bargains plus live access to over 100 artists! Art, frivolity and serious bargains guaranteed!
The principles of the ACBF remain the same. All the artists will present something new, exclusive to the event and they’ll be selling at a great just-for-the-day price. With your £12 ticket to access the Viral ACBF you also get an annual membership to the all-new Art Car Boot Fair Club! The lineup is astonishing! It includes Marcus Harvey, Pam Hogg, Gavin Turk, Helen Beard, Pure Evil, Geraldine Swayne, Mat Collishaw, Rankin, Sara Pope, Claire Partington and Noel Fielding!
We had the pleasure to interview Adam Dant, the artist commissioned by the Art Car Boot Fair to produce the “map” of the fair – as any good art fair must have a map. This one is very special though, and it’s called the 'ArtCarBootopia'.

Julien Planté: Critics have often compared your style to William Hogarth, whose 18th-century satirical prints were created with a moral purpose in mind. Is there also a moral purpose in your drawings?
Adam Dant: I hope not! I’m more interested in depicting how social mores function in the very broadest sense and how the history of telling people what they should and shouldn’t do relates to the specifics of our own age.
Some people are of the opinion that there’s a new ‘puritan’ sprit of censure and judgement in the air now and seeing how readily and often the moral high ground is taken - with problematic  phrases like ‘it’s the right thing to do’ and ‘it’s time to listen to the grown ups in the room’ - this is a social arena that’s ripe for exploration and satire by artists.
Hogarth’s rather Puritan visual commentary on the vices and vulgarities of his age seems a bit pompous and sententious now. Though, seeing some of the sights on view in my neighbourhood of Shoreditch on a Saturday night maybe we could do with a dose of Hogarth’s moralising.

Image credit: 'Mellow Drama' by Sara Pope, available at the Art Car Boot Fair's Viral Edition - Sunday, 4th October.

Julien: You have a history of working with maps or 'mockuments'. Why do they inspire you? When did you draw your first map?
The first map I ever saw was in a tourist guide to Pompeii which I bought from a school Jumble sale for 2p. I studied it constantly and drew lots of random pirates, cowboys and buried treasure sites on it. I was at a catholic school, full of Italian kids. One of them, Tullio Martinelli, saw me reading the book and snatched it, shouting ‘it’s Pompeii, it’s Italia, this does not belong to you’ and in a furious tantrum of righting some perceived act cultural appropriation he ran round and round the playground shrieking until one of the nuns gave him a nasty thump. Years later when I visited Pompeii I took the map with me. There was no buried treasure but afterwards I was at a cafe in Naples, where the girl at the next table had an open school satchel. Inside the flap was written ‘Tullio Martinelli, St Lawrence’s RC School, Cambridge’. She was at the University there and told me that she’d bought the satchel at a second hand stall. It felt like Tullio coming back for his book!
I like the fact that most of the maps we find in second hand shops come directly from or have been to those places, opened and exposed to all sorts of sights.
I drew my first maps when I was a scholar in Rome. They were based on all the street graffiti, some of which was hundreds of years old, some from the night before. When I first visited the map corridor in the Vatican and discovered that I had a family connection with the 16th century artist responsible, my making cartographic art seemed to come naturally. There are lots of reasons why I draw maps but to say it’s in the blood is the best one.

Image credit: Artwork by Marcus Harvey, available at the Art Car Boot Fair's Viral Edition - Sunday, 4th October.

Julien: What was the inspiration and process behind the map you drew for the first Viral Art Car Boot Fair, and why did you chose the title “ArtCarBootopia”?
The idea for creating the ‘Art car boot-opia’ map came from a conversation I had with Karen Ashton, the co-founder of the Art Car Boot Fair. It suddenly made sense that if the 2020 Viral edition wasn’t going to happen ‘somewhere’ this year, then it would have to happen nowhere, ie in a ‘utopia’ (literally no-place) or in our case a ‘boot-opia’.
One nice thing about drawing maps is that unlike the ‘blank canvas’ one might usually expect to be the starting point for an artist, with cartography everything is already there; a city’s streets being like a kind of armature.
It’s much harder to start mapping a place that doesn’t exist. I thought that this years virtual event might feel like it’s taking place on a kind of floating island so I took inspiration from the cliched charts of old sea discoverers, everything is a bit strange and fuzzy, there are encounters with peculiar new tribes, viral wind heads sneeze rather than blow from each corner and the newly discovered realm of boot-opia appears to be a giant biscuit (with a bite taken out of it).
Julien: What do you like about the Art Car Boot Fair? How special is this first online edition going to be and what can we expect?
I have absolutely no idea what to expect at this years ACBF so no change there! That’s always been the best thing about the event, all the surprises. I think that all the artists involved, just as they have done at all the previous ACBF's, will deploy their customary wit, invention, cheek and anarchic spirit in this new and unusual virtual venue!

Image credit: 'Bob Dylan' by Wildcat Will, available at the Art Car Boot Fair's Viral Edition - Sunday, 4th October.
Julien: During coronavirus shutdowns people have not been able to attend their local art museum. How do you think Artists are dealing with the challenges raised by Covid-19?
Personally I’ve been making a lot of odysseys around the house. Lots of artists I know have told me they’ve felt slightly guilty that they have found so many positive aspects to the recent ‘lockdown’.
I must say that I’ve seen some brilliant new works of art produced during this period and have put this down to artists as individuals having to spend even more time alone than usual. I think that because of their training, experience and daily lives that artists as people are deeply resourceful.
That’s a good reason why art is important and why it should be taught as a key subject in our schools.

The Art Car Boot Fair's Viral Edition
Sunday 4th October 2020

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