“We like to think of artists, not as geniuses in an ivory tower, but as real people who happen to have a different perception of the world that we all can learn from.”
Florian Langhammer started contemporary art and culture magazine Collectors Agenda with his partner in 2015.
How did you start Collectors Agenda?
We started Collectors Agenda as a project to offer an affordable entry to buying art by the principle of editions, offering limited editions and series of individual works, that are offered at lower prices compared to unique works. To keep up a certain interest beyond edition offers, we published interviews with artists in their studio as editorial – keeping to a very simple language, deliberately avoiding the often stuck-up language of the art scene. We certainly did not invent the concept of studio interviews but the consequent focus on this format somehow caught the attention of the art scene, and within six months we turned around our venture to become an art magazine with editions – instead of an editions platform with editorial content.
What is the purpose of Collectors Agenda?
We believe that art can and should touch us all. So we wanted to expand the reach of art beyond the established art scene and be inclusive to newcomers to the scene, enabling them to join art conversations more confidently. This is why we make an effort to avoid typical ‘art speak’. We like to think of artists, not as geniuses in an ivory tower that one should be afraid to talk to in fear of outing oneself as ignorant, but as real people who happen to have a different perception of the world that we all can learn from.
How would you summarise your role at the magazine/platform?
As we are not a huge core team, I have several roles. One is to provide the general directive for our editorial, deciding with the team on the artists that we interview during the year and overseeing the production of the stories. Another role is to work with artists on common edition projects that we show as part of our annual exhibition programme at our project space in Vienna. And, of course, a lot of time goes into keeping ties with the art scene, reaching out to art fairs, galleries, institutions for co-operations to ensure the sustained success of the venture financially. My team usually gets the benefit of being able to meet with the artist for the magazine. However, when we are entering into a common project with an artist, I get to work more closely with them.
What is your relationship to Vienna? Do you consider it a city for creatives?
My partner and I arrived in Vienna in 2010 following an impulse to get a change of scenery from our life in Hamburg, without much of a concrete plan on what we would do here. We were lucky to make friends quickly, which soon made us feel very much at home and it became clear that Vienna would not just be a transit station in our lives. At the time at which we got here, some twelve years ago, Vienna had shaken off its sleepy and morbid character. Since then, the creative and artistic scene has been thriving, with lots of artist run off-spaces such as New Jörg or Kevin Space and young galleries such as Sophie Tappeiner, or our neighbours, Zeller van Almsick, focusing on a younger generation of artists – or Parallel, an art fair with an off-space feel that takes place in disused, often spectacular buildings of the city.