In the year and a half of its existence Bpigs might have admittedly stepped on a toe or two. Your responses, scold and enthusiasm have been a constant companion, helping us retrace our steps, or just move on. It seems like a good idea to publish a selection of those emails at this point, in a kind of Thanks Giving retrospective (although some mails edge to Halloween…)
Though there is an undeniable gossip value to this, what interests me more, are the reasons, and the ways different individuals chose to address a stranger (the author) with a comment, thank you or f*** you; the familiarity most of those mails show, either in praise or complain and what is most intriguing is how some subjects are completely electrifying, like for example the Speed Portfolio Viewing where the reactions could fill a small encyclopedia .
I tried to divide the emails, according to the subjects they are referring to; some are thought provoking, some I have included just for fun. First I thought I would concentrate on the complaints, but then I decided to publish a representative selection of all. I had to shorten most of the longer emails, but some I just could not find a good way to do so, so I left them whole. The original grammar and spelling were not altered. I have also included a selection of these “Dear Gallerist” mass emails, although nothing new for most of you, because I just cannot cease to find them fascinating. In fact the picture of this post is from one of them. I have chosen to delete all the names or organizations, as this is more of study than a gossip girl blast. Should you nevertheless feel that you have to, write us a mail, we will publish it next year.
- Also erstmal... immer ein super guide... aber wirklich hilfe bräuchte ich viel mehr für montags, besonders den nächsten, weil da habe ich geburtstag, also is da irgendwas....sonntag abends, montag abends??
- What a cute, well-curated newsletter.
- I am so enjoying your why's...
-Hey, i also hate ouzo. but how can you talk like that about tzatziki?!?
-Still, i like the work you do with the weekly tips. i think it's great although i haven't been in berlin enough lately to see much. but i always enjoy reading them and at some point i'll go to visit them too.
-By the way, is there a Barcelona Independents Guide as well?
-Can u stop writing these stupid comments about our exhibitions - thank you-
-And also u can stop sending out our programm aswell thank u
-Sieht nach Arbeit aus, BPIGS Tips. “Don´t look outside, look inside” klingt gut.
-Firstly I'd like to say a big thank you for BPIGS. Its great, everything, and the name in particular! :)
-First, thanks for the gorgeous newsletter.. i mean it.. i am not kissing ass here ;-)
- Hey bpigs, first of all congrats for the great guide - i think it's something that Berlin has been longing for for a long time. Thanks!
-Dear Bpigs: In Zukunft bitte alles in Deutsch oder keine Post mehr. Thank you vielmals.
-Thank you Despina! Best Gallery Weekend-related newsletter I've received!
-Ich habe seit dem 7. Juni keinen Newsletter mehr von Ihnen bekommen. Liegt das daran, dass ich facebook verlassen habe? Finde Ihre Auswahl prima und würde weiter gern informiert werden.
-Guten Tag eine frage würde ich gerne an ihnen richten! Da wir nun mal in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland leben, in einer deutschen Stadt und unsere Muttersprache Deutsch ist, nicht Englisch oder Italienisch. Warum sie immer alles in Englischer Sprache mir zusenden und ich glaube auch andren deutschen Bundesbürgern. Ich denke, es könnte den Anschein eventuell erheben, das man seine eigene Kultur dem vergessen überlässt, denken sie an Goethe Schiller oder Hesse die ein Zeugnis unserer großen Deutschsprachigen Kultur sind! Es ist ein Desaster gleichens das immer mehr und mehr unsere eigene Sprache verdrängt wird.Und durch Englischsprachigen Einfluss ( Amerikanesierung)ersetzt wird. Unsere Großen Köpfe und Denker würden sich buchstäblich im Grabe umdrehen! Ich hoffe ich konnte sie etwas zum Nachdenken bewegen.
PORTFOLIO VIEWING (nr 1 –April 2011, for feedback on the second have a look here)
-Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu einer wirklich tollen Idee!
-This is terrific! So happy this is happening, it is a truly great idea!!! Thank you so much for getting in touch! Count me in. Most definitely. Wouldn't miss it.
-Das ist eine gigantisch tolle Idee!!! Klar, machen wir super gern mit.
-Thank you for the invitation, but I will have to respectfully decline. I personally do not find speed portfolio viewing a very productive or rewarding format. I must say, however, that I am impressed that the curators agreed to forego any fees in the interest of making it affordable for the artists. Very nice! I wish you all the luck and success for what will likely prove a very busy day!
-Zum Kotzen- ja na Klasse - muss der Künstler denn immer nur bezahlen?! Bezahlen für Ausst.-Beteiligungen, bezahlen für die Bewerbung bei diversen Stipendien, bezahlen für An- und Abtransporte der Werke zu den 'ach so ausgesuchten' Einjurierungen und jetzt auch bezahlen dafür, dass 'Kuratoren' mal aufs werk gucken????Wer denkt sich das nur immer aus?? …
Nur zu...ja klar, 10 euro sind nicht die welt, aber zehn hier, zwanzig da - das ganze Jahr lang all die 'großen' Möglichkeiten, sich ins Spiel zu bringen! Wer rückt denn da an - wer ist das denn, der zahlt? Scheiß Künstler-Hobbythek? Sorry, platt, aber doch treffend, da könnte man doch genauso gut Lotto spielen! Warum haben denn die Kuratoren nichts für dieses Arrangement zu bezahlen? Sind das nicht die eigentlichen Kunden - die nutznießer!
-I want to know if the curators have to pay too? If not, why should artists only pay? Don't the curators benefit from the financial and symbolic value of the work artists will present at this speed dating event (also their presence)?I don't like taking power structures for granted, … I respond very negatively when artists seem used as pieces in a game where mostly art professionals benefit. I worry that this is a trend in current curatorial practice. Why not have a group of artists who are very wise and amazing talk about their work slowly and have the curators pay to come and learn about their work? I would be happy to organize that as the next event. It can be called, "Slow Education for Art Proffesionals, Art Practice as Anti-Networking"- abstract is from a longer email from Alexis Knowlton
-Dear Despina, I think it's very short sighted of artists to participate in this proposal, a much cheaper tactic would be to get curators drunk at the local pub and sleep with them. best G.
(To which admittedly I answered: -Dear G, Port-Falio Viewing could work too I guess. Good luck!)
- It's not the money that I care about, it's the principle!
- Ich meinte das mit dem Portfolio Viewing-Honorar einfach nur prinzipiell. Du kennst sicher diese Debatte, dass Kuratoren nicht zugleich Kritiker, Katalogtext-Autoren, Galeriemitarbeiter, Kunsthändler sein dürfen, da jede dieser Tätigkeiten die anderen korrumpieren würde. Tatsächlich könnten freie Kuratoren ansonsten aber gar nicht überleben: Kuratoren sind die am schlechtesten bezahlten Akteure im Feld der Kunst. Es gibt massenhaft Stipendien für Künstler, aber kaum welche für Kritiker und so gut wie keine für Kuratoren – wenn, dann ist die Förderung Projekt gebunden. Die massivste Kritik an Querfinanzierungen über verschiedene Tätigkeiten kommt lustiger Weise von festangestellten Kuratoren oder Kritikern.
(from people participating):
-Just wanted to Thank You for an awesome event full of great people and cool surprises. I really believe this kind of spirit sets Berlin apart from the rest of the world.
-I just wanted to thank you again for all of your hard work organizing the event yesterday. It was a pleasure to participate. It certainly has me reflecting on the capacities and challenges of such a time-crunch event. I did find the format to be quite a nice "sneak peak" into an array of artistic practices and a great way to spark contacts. It was a success in my eyes as several contacts may very well lead to future collaboration. It was particularly interesting to see what dramatic differences there were between the visual formulation of artists' work who may be dealing with very similar concepts - very inspiring!
-Thank you for a fun day in April. I think the concept can go very far in Berlin.
I hope the artists who saw me felt they got value for money...
Curators Battle (two curators, two different shows, with the same 8 artists, the public votes for the "winner" during the opening -March 2011)
For the public's feedback on the show the day of the opening see here
-The last exhibition where a curator was pitted against another curator, in it’s advertising, made me feel like the artists in it didn't actually matter at all. I like both Carson and Aaron as people but honestly I thought it sounded like a battle of egos. I thought that show must be about the culture of the celebrity curator, but in an unreflected way. So I didn't go. abstract is from a longer email from Alexis Knowlton
-Great! Sounds like a bad reality TV concept.
-I really hope either Aaron or Carson will win this thing...
Summer Reading Winter Fears (article on how artists occupy the bottom of the “Ash kissing Pyramide and how toxic the art scene actually is for what it represents- creativity)
-Thank you for your email bringing my attention to the problem: how did you know this issue is relevant to me? I have spent years now hanging around Berlin, sucking from the State and claiming to be an artist and I realise now - thanks to your missal - that it is time to change my ways: I shall commence by walking through Kreuzberg in sackcloth and ashes, wailing loudly towards the heavens in search of forgiveness, while mercilessly whipping my own back with a plastic bag full of cheap razorblades. Your compassion and humility leads you not only to point out the error of my ways, but also your appearance on the Monopol cover last year, as a sign of your dedication and commitment to the concept that you refer to as art, and I myself should not even entertain the idea of letting the said word pass through my lips. I would describe myself at best as what you define as an "Ass-Kissing" Artist, and deeply entrenched in the associated practices. I look forward to your next outpouring, in the hope that it will further propel me along the "Road-To-Damascus"-like route to reality.
-On the subject of too many artists, here's my view of the subject... an excerpt from my autobiography/work in progress “*************”. ( follows abstract)
- I enjoyed reading your text a lot. I could have written it myself. I keep my opinions a bit to myself though as I fear being judged as too cynical. My advice is (if you want any, actually i think you move within the world-of-art like a fish in water? just a guess): ignore the whole art scene. Ignore someone position within it and just judge the person by integrity or whatever values you find important. I do that. It works for me. -Your email was a nice surprise. What a nice coincidence, I've been teaching myself Greek for two months now... (it's tough!) and then I get this mysterious letter from a Greek woman in Berlin. Thanks so much. Are you ever down Paris way? I live in the shadow of Notre Dame and would really like to meet you. Your photo is impressive (found it with Bing... I assume that's you?) and I like your writing. I'm leaving for Poros on Sunday... to practice my clumsy Greek with my new Greek friends... back in two weeks.
-We have decided that Bpigs, although lovely, is not the right space to publicize our gallery.
-I was just wondering - how can I get some coverage in BPIGS about a major exhibition opening we are planning for April 29th? What would you need from me and what kind of coverage could we be looking at?
-Vielen Dank fuer die Einladung ;-) Meine Projekt Raeume sind in Los Angeles, daher wahrscheinlich nicht unbedingt fuer Euer Program geeignet.
-Damn - forgot to send our info for this Friday!! Is it too late? Can anything be done? Am I too slow? Omg
Dear Bpigs Teem,
-Dear Bpigs-Team,is there a chance to show paintings in any upcoming show?I am in my last year at UdK Berlin and have lots of paintings to show!
-Dear Despina Stokou,I like your blog -maybe you like my works!
-Dear Bpigs teem. My names ****, I'm an artist from England, I'm currently staying in Berlin and wish to show my art to the public. If your are interested in my art or perhaps have any information about how I can advertise my art within Berlin it will be very appreciated.
-Liebe Freunde, ich möchte auf eine Veranstaltung Aufmerksam machen und hoffe, daß ich Euer Interesse und Eure Aufmerksamkeit habe.
-Dear, my web page is now available at ******. It is an overview of the past ten years of my work, with a focus on X-ray and the hand.
-Att.n: DirectorIf you are interested to my artworks I can make an exhibition in your gallery.
-You are seriously invited to take part at the Exhibition:
- i wannted senden u mein Foto lange her, aber ich hatte Angst, dass u dont like mich zu sehen. Scheck auf den Link u sehen mein Foto, ich hoffe es gefдllt
- I am looking forward to a QUICK answer as I HAVE TO PLAN 2012!!!!
-Hey Guys, I am one of four people with a new location in Berlin. We are a Gallery / Bar / and Events space in Wedding.
-Greetings, to briefly introduce me, my name is *****. I´m currently looking for jobs connected to either art, curating or best exhibiting myself as well as in the fields of social media, generating web content and brand management and such.
-hello …I'm ******, I’m an artist, musician and a journalist free lance….I should like much to show my artworks in your space&pages.
WHAT DID I MISS
-hey folks. you certainly missed our opening night with 11 different artists on friday 4th of November. the good thing is: the show is open until December 2nd.
Strip it Down by Martin Skauen (addressing the current drawing)
-boring shit like this can created only by man. i try it on an other way