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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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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I have nothing to say, and I am saying it 
In an text I wrote about the art biennial in Lofoten (LIAF) I claimed that two of the earlier issues (the 1999 and 2004 one) was both a disaster. The text is in Norwegian language if anyone wonder.
The co-curator of both 1999 and 2004 LIAF - Norwegian artist Tor Inge Kveum replied (can be read in the same link as the text, just scroll down). Kveum claims that I am a lose cannon, and that it made him feel quite upset. But he was reminded on the English saying: Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one. and that this is the way it goes when one publish harsh conclusions faster then arguments that are based on research and facts.

Now, this is not my best piece ever. And he did arrest me on the money flow from the state of Norway to LIAF. I am very glad he did that, because it
a) taught me a lesson
So now I am double-cross-checking my sources on that.

But, the way he called me a dilettante was not very sophisticated and clear. Obviously, he is really eager to defend his curatorial choices, as am I to attack them, but there is something that is bugging me about this, and that is:
what do you do when you argue with someone?

I have been thinking quite a bit about the way I attacked his festival and the way he replied to that (not to mentioned my 2400 words long reply were I claim that his last effort in 2004 killed every opportunity the festival ever had to become international acclaimed - in contrast was the review only 1500 words long).

and here is what I am thinking

In a situation of debate, think fast and write or speak slower then you think.

be true to your first reaction
- ask yourself why you react this way

Do start with acknowledge the good points made by your opponent.

Always make a point out of your initial critique, and repeat, if possible more elaborated, what your arguments and opinions are.

Remember that opinions are a part of the stuff we bread (stole that one from Roberta Smith) and not a part of our bodies. there are no way around your own opinions, but do treat them with respect, always respect your own as well as other opinions, and do not think that just because someone got a good argument, you have to agree with them.

There are no way, not even in a parallel universe that I would give Kveum right in his argument that his version of LIAF (called Human, Fucking Human) was a good exhibition with a mixed reception. As far as I am concerned, it did not get any reviews, not really. Daniel Birnbaum asked what is the difference between art criticism and propaganda and suggested that a mind being sceptic. I like that.

Now, I do not wish the person Tor Inge Kveum any harm, and I can believe that espescially the last festival he curated have been a drag (really bad organised, unclear structures, changing director at least two times just before the opening, hard and long evaluation process with the municipality owning the festival - and on top of that, me, more than two years after claiming that it sucked - big time).

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seminar workshop in norway: A Framework for Modern Cultural Activism: Does Art Create A Public Sphere in Itself? 
Seminar and workshop, Saturday, Oct. 21, 10:30 AM -- 4:00 PM
The National Museum, 8th floor lecture hall. Kristian Augustgate 23.
Free entrance. Light lunch served.
Relevant texts can be downloaded in advance from the National Foundation for Art in Public Buildings' website:
click here
--the link does not work, but it came with the press release--

10:30 AM -- 11:00 AM: Coffee
11:00 AM -- 11:15 AM: Introduction by Cecilia Widenheim and Tone Hansen
11:15 AM -- 11.30 AM: Per Gunnar Tverbakk/Tone Hansen
11:30 AM -- 1:00 PM: Martha Rosler
1:00 PM -- 1:30 PM: Quick, free lunch
1:30 PM -- 2:15 PM: Cornelia Sollfrank
2:15 PM -- 2:30 PM: Short break
2:30 PM -- 2:50 PM: Ane Hjort Guttu,
2:50 -- 15.10 PM: S°ssa J°rgensen
Discussion until 4:00 PM.

The seminar is organized by Tone Hansen, research fellow at the Oslo National
Academy of the Arts, and Cecilia Widenheim, Curator at Moderna
Museet (Stockholm) and responsible for the Norwegian Sculpture Biennial
2006, Oslo.

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fighting or debating: Tor Inge Kveum and LIAF (long story made short) 
I wrote a review for the Norwegian magazine about the art festival in lofoten called LIAF . There I was quite hard on the issues of 1999 and 2004, both co-curated by artist Tor Inge Kveum . He wrote an angry letter back, which I am obliged to reply on. Me being without lap top for a while, trying to get my shit together for the PHILIP project at Project Art Space in Dublin in a fourth nights time ends up writing small novels when trying to reply - guess that I do not really want to answer him. It is not that I have done some big mistake although he does points out that my research on the founding from the state of Norway was not good enough, there are some issues that I am going to touch upon that I think is not that pleasant for him. He started his reply to my review by using the English term "Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one". I did find that quite strange because my latest review is about an artificial arsehole in the wall. Well, back to those books on reality and universe. Or should I rock the world and start feeling misunderstood as a writer?

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