leipzig, china, art - what ever.  
Since I cannot link to a certain blog out there (that is just so stupid, why do you have a blog if it is not allowed to link to it?), anyway, I have some of my best reads going through the posts, and in the middle of a biennale, it is clear that the art worlds are not plagued with one, but two trends of dislike:
" I don't know what sucks more - the Chinese or the Leipzig painting, all I know is that it both are totally overrated, and that it is so "easily" understood by moron American collectors who should simply STOP collecting art at all".

This adds up. I am trying to find out
a) why so few like it so much
b) why me and mines alike dislike it so strongly.

To take the b) side to it first, it is clear that there are certain forces that are easily to identify than others -- and when identified they can be valued on a subjective level much clearer. This is conservative bull and even though that are Leipzig painters out there that are good, they are not that good, and it is not that many.
But, there is a sort of oversensitive market for that now, and the wind will change, quite rapid, and most of these names will be (thank god) forgotten. It is nothing personal, but it is rather boring, just boring. In five years, it will all be forgotten. Believe me. Just flip through any issue of any magazine about art that is older then, let says, 5 years and take note of all the artists that you haven’t seen around for a while. You will be surprised.

Another Leipzig specific question is:
In a time where the art world expands more than ever before, the small art scene in Leipzig seems try to protect their brand by not approve of any gallery outside of the cotton factory. That is strange. I am not talking about any gallery space (like D21), but like commercial galleries that might be an expansion of the gallery scene in Leipzig. They try to build this brand by inviting external, more or less big, big art dealer to come to leipzig in order to start a branch here.
This should be seen in the lights of the fact that the Leipzig galleries was very quick on opening branches in Berlin (Eigen und Art being the most expansive one as they opened temporarily spaces in Tokyo and NY for a limited time in the beginning and mid- ninties). I understand that they want more and bigger money in quicker than any small time gallery here in leipzig can afford and are able to to, but why undermine it's own territory by acting as elitists?

But still, Leipzig does great in terms of international attention when you compare it to the number of inhabitans (500.000). Remember, it is just a small place far into the east of germany. Maybe thats why they are able to brand it so clear; it is easier to ignor local artists doing different stuff the smaller the place in question is.

There are some artists that are worth mentioning:
Tina Schulz
Tilo Schulz
Mark Hamilton
FAMED (Kretzschmar, Schellbach, Thomaneck)
Marion Porten (scroll down till you get to Marion Porten)
Hans Christian Lotz
Arthur Zalewski
Bea Meyer
(meyer, tina schulz and mark hamilton is found on the web site of galerie b2)

to mention some of those I appreciate and like the work of.

But with 2 alternative spaces (K26 and D21 (I am not joking, we also have b2, Halle 14, Kanal 11, not to mention the old magazine i10- last mentioned not in Leipzig though)), one kunsthalle (halle 14, sparkasse kunsthalle doesen't count), one contemporary art museum and one modern art museum, there are no question. They need to get out in order to survive, which is fine and very important. But the interesting thing about this is that most of these does not have any commercial gallery pushing them (I am then not see galerie b2 as a commercial gallery), and as good as no chance of showing off in institutions in Leipzig.

Which brings me over to what I am really aiming at: D21 and the role of an independent space in Leipzig. Should we use local artists more? Should there be more people living in Leipzig taking part in these shows that we are arranging? Yes, I do believe so. My last count showed that we will have, by the end of 2007 shown 15 artists in 5 different exhibitions, and three of them will them be from or living in, leipzig - 2/3 women, but that's another thing, most of the shows I am doing in o7 are without female participants. I do not consider all this as larger problems, it is just as important to bring people from the outside, with similar interest as us, in to leipzig and let them get to know people.

as for question a) I dunno. I am not a buyer of art on a regular basis. I do not buy art at all actually. I almost does not own any art, but what I do own have been givven me way back (other subject that are a bit sensitive that I might get back to as soon as I dare). There are different reasons why, and me I am guessing that these paintings actually strickes a nerver somewhere, and I have to be honest, I believe it is also bit of a hype. Everyone wants one, so there are no time or interest in actually checking the quality. Thats why I think that a lot of these painters will be gone in a few years: I belive that many of those buying will be in the situation where they wants to collect something else, and what then?

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Now, I love the writings of Jerry Saltz, did I mentioned that? Well, I do, don't I. Although pushing the limits of logic, I very much enjoyed reading his "NO NEXT CHELSEA" in the October issue of Modern Painters. He applies Darwinist methodology on the art scene by claiming not only that most art is bad, and that when you react positively to one show, he might react differently, and he does so with bravura(??) debating that NY will experience problems when the prices in Chelsea will raise the next decade or so and force everyone to learn German. Anyway. He tries to explain that most shows are bad in a 6:1 ratio, 85% are bad and 15% might be ok. Without any further ado he states that this ratio may very well be a natural law, "brilliant, absolutely Darwinian survival mechanism."
Anyway, he makes a fantastic argument for this as he explain how this good: bad ratio of show have to be true, because if not "([...] the Leipzig scene would be the best in the world since, according to the moneybags who buy every painting made there simply because it was made there, no bad painters exist in Leipzig.)"

I rest my case.

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Forgot: Unitednationsplaza 
M6 was cancelled. Nobody can deny that, but the ideas used in the making of are in circulation still. One of the largest onces are founder of e-flux : Anton Vidokle (hear radio-interview here (as a part of a project form the curator-students in Amsterdam last year)).

His project in Berlin explains itself as an exhibition as school: unitednationsplaza.

It sounds ok, but to be honest; same persons as through the whole 90*ies, just new context. Might be good, could also be a bit boring.

Because I really like the idea of the curatorial team, and I really like some of the projects that Vidokle has produced or organized as a part of e-flux. I wish him the best of luck this weekend and I hope that unitednationsplaza turns out good.

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Thinking Worlds 
Now, this I can like, a biennale that makes a canon of philosophy before the actuall exhibition with half a year! would love to be there, will check out what tickets costs.

"Thinking Worlds" - An International Symposium on
Philosophy, Politics, and Aesthetic Theory

Dates: November, 17th -18th, 2006
Place: Moscow, Polytechnic Museum

Co-organizer: The Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography, The Moscow Biennale Art Foundation, Russian Institute for Culturology.

Speakers: Giorgio Agamben, Boris Kagarlitsky, Chantale Mouffe, Molly Nesbit, Jacques Ranciere, Mikhail Ryklin, Saskia Sassen, Bernard Stiegler.

The symposium "Thinking Worlds" starts off from the general idea of a biennial as a meeting place between different worlds, geographical, cultural, and professional, and extends this to fundamental questions bearing on the state of philosophy, aesthetic theory, and politics. The different "worlds" or spheres of philosophical reflection, that we find for instance in Kant`s division between the theoretical, the practical, and the aesthetic, have for a long time provided the philosophical reflection of modernity with its substructure. A fundamental questioning of the present must ask to what extent these three fields still exist as separate domains, what kinds of intersections exist between them, and if one of them can be seen as the foundation of the other or if we have to accept a plurality of parallel discourses. Thinking "worlds" would then imply a reflection on the unity and difference of these three domains, and especially so if seen in the light of contemporary politics. The question of whether there is one world that could serve as a promise for thought, or if it is an irrevocable condition that "Thinking Worlds" exists today only in the plural, is more pressing than ever.

Taking its cue from this historical framework, the symposium is divided into three subsections.

Philosophy and the construction of concept.
What is the role of philosophy in relation to the sciences and the arts? Should philosophy create new concepts, and if so, how should it relate to its tradition(s)? Does philosophy have an autonomy of its own, or does it relate only to the other spheres (science, politics, art) as a form of "reflection", i.e., occupying a second order position?

Universality, reason, contingency.
What happens to identity, citizenship etc, in a global world, and what challenges do these changes pose for how we conceive political theory?
- What are the possibilities under which the arts can engage or challenge our present condition?

The limits of aesthetics.
- How should we conceptualize contemporary art today and what tools
should be used to analyze it?
- What is the meaning of a term such as 2aesthetic theory" today (a concept that Adorno already judged to be outmoded at the end of his life), and is there place for the activity of critical judgment in a world that has been characterized as a "society
of the spectacle"?

The conference is organized by Joseph Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, and Sven-Olov
Wallenstein, and will be moderated by Sven-Olov Wallenstein

Preliminary program of the Moscow Conference "Thinking worlds"
8 participants / 3 panels

1) Philosophy and the creation of concepts: Bernard Stiegler, Giorgio Agamben.
2) Universality, reason, contingency: Jacques Ranciere, Saskia Sassen and Chantal Mouffe
3)The limits of aesthetics: Molly Nesbit, Boris Kagarlitsky and Mikhail Rykhin

November 17
First day: two panels - 5 participants
10.00 -- 10.20 Opening of the conference
10.20 -- 11.00 first talk of the first panel (Bernard Stiegler)
11.00 -- 11.40 second talk of the first panel (Giorgio Agamben)
11.40 -- 12.00
Coffee break
12.00 -- 12.30 open discussion of the first panel
12.30 -- 13.10 first talk of the second panel (Jacques Ranciere)
13.10 -- 14.40
14.40 -- 15.20
second talk of the second panel (Saskia Sassen)
15.20 -- 16.00 third talk of the second panel (Chantal Mouffe)
16.00 -- 16.30 Coffee break
16.30 -- 17.00 open discussion of the second panel

November 18
Second day: third panel – 3 participants + final discussion
11.30 -- 12.20 first talk of the third panel (Molly Nesbit)
12.20 -- 13.00
second talk of the third panel (Boris Kagarlitsky)
13.00 -- 13.20 Coffee break
13.20 -- 14.00 third talk of the third panel (Mikhail Rykhin)
14.00 -- 14.30 open discussion of the third panel
14.30 -- 15.00 Lunch
15.00 -- 17.00 final discussion

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how about a review? 
I have many times claimed that Tommy Olsson is a great writer, but t I am not sure if I consider him an art critic. But reading Aftenposten's main critic, Lotte Sandberg's review of the exhibition Fantastic Politics: Art in Times of Political Crisis, I understand why I just might be forced to:
although Sandberg's reviews I have read and enjoyed the last decade or so; she is a bit pissed off, a bit angry, a besserwisser and dares to be subjective, there is no engagement in her texts anymore. She goes through this exhibition and register that there are pieces of art compiled together making it what we call an exhibition of art. And in my opinion it looks like it does not engage her much. I might be mistaken, but why write about it then? at least when Tommy Olsson doesn't like the exhibition, he starts to wonder off in "Olsson-land" and it is fun to read. Sandberg is just boring. Boring reviews like boring sex: better off without.

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