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
and
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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the earth belonged to the martians... 
Setting my pandora on "punk" radio (the stupid thing played gorillaz as the first tune, I was looking for something a bit more... hard core), anyway, I skipped that and then this started playing. Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of The Worlds was one of my favorits when I was in my early teens.
I still have the CD-pack. It is great, it is like being back home in my room, dream about other worlds and surreal strange shapes and alike.

I remembering watching the 1953 film version in 2002 and found it quite funny the way they used the atomic bomb in a small valley in a desperate try to kill the attackers (did not work).

Haven't seen the newst version, think I would not like it.
I did like the radio play though.

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Pontus Hultén dies at 82  
I have heard a lot about Hultén, the one who made Moderna Museet the place we all would like it to be (it is not, not really) - or?
It is always strange when heroes and known people dies, so also with Pontus Hultén, who died not many days ago. He will be remembered as long as the term Contemporary Art means something, and as long as someone tries to define what these so-called curators did during the last part of the 20-century.

From the press text of Moderna:

Pontus Hultén, in effect, founded Moderna Museet, when he became its director in 1960 . Very soon, he startled the Swedish public with a succession of innovative exhibitions, such as Movement in Art, incorporating sculptures by Jean Tinguely and PO Ultvedt; and 4 Americans (1962), featuring American pop art by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and others, almost before they were acknowledged in the USA. A string of historic exhibitions followed: Jackson Pollock (1963) and the Dream Museum, where Pontus Hultén persuaded the government to contribute five million Swedish kronor towards buying new works for the collection. Today, these works are the backbone of the museum collection and cannot be valued in money. Pontus Hultén is regarded as one of the world’s most distinguished museum professionals of our time. He devoted his life to art and eventually donated the collection he built up over many years to Moderna Museet.



Moderna Museet won international fame in 1966 with the exhibition SHE – A Cathedral, which consisted of a gigantic sculpture of a reclining woman whose womb was an entrance for visitors who could experience various things inside. The artists behind the work were Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, P O Ultvedt as well as Pontus Hultén himself. When Andy Warhol was shown at Moderna Museet in 1968, this was his first retrospective ever.



In 1974, Pontus Hultén was invited to participate in creating a new cultural centre in the heart of Paris: Centre Pompidou. He directed the institution with great aplomb until 1981, when he went on to start other institutions, including Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, MoCA , Los Angeles, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Kunsthalle Bonn and Museum Jean Tinguely, Basel.



Lars Nittve, director of Moderna Museet:
“Pontus Hultén is a seminal figure in the history of the museum, with his ability to take advantage of unique opportunities and always being ahead of his time. The works that were added to the collection during his directorship are the mainstay of Moderna Museet. It is no exaggeration to say that no other individual has meant more to Moderna Museet.”

One year ago, Pontus Hultén decided to donate some 700 works, or practically his entire private collection, to Moderna Museet. One of his requests was that the donated works, which were gratefully accepted by the government and Moderna Museet, should not be hung as part of the collection, but should be accessible to the public in a user-friendly storehouse – a typically Hulténesque solution that would give the public the freedom to “browse” among the masterpieces as in an art library. The architect who will create this viewing storehouse is Pontus Hultén’s friend and former colleague Renzo Piano (from Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Menil Collection, Houston, Texas).

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JERRY SALTZ 
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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some thouhgts 
During the job interview I had the night before last, some interesting subjects were brought up: why does so many curators/critics etc. turn commercial? why not be in a institution and then just work their way through life having different jobs?
There are some disadvantages working for some institutions: You are expected to have a higher circulation of artists then a commercial gallery. This means that an institution might have a bit of this "hit and run" feel to them as they bring artist in and dumpst them when done. Like a one night stand, being an artist working without at least one commercial gallery might be like that: running around all the time in order to find new projects for new collaborators.

Working with a gallery you have to option to follow an artist over a strech of time, and you do not have to concider problems with the board (you have the bank and the collectors instead, but it seems like they are preferred by some art workers over politicans and boards etc.)

Me, I had a talk about this with artist Øystein Aasan on the phone today. In his opinion can commercial galleries take more chances than almost any institution as they don*t have to concider the audience. He claims that there are no need for a commercial gallery to see if the audience are adapted to the type of art the given artist might produce - and that this is a type of freedom.
FurtherI believe that the museum can also be a laboratorium just like the way it was depicted by Alfred H. Barr and the way Hans Ulrich Obrist have been claiming through greater parts of the 90ties. I believe firmly in the option but viewer, artist and institution have in choosing, and I do not belive that the gallery are less concervative then a institution, they might be more concervative, just look at the situation in Leipzig, the local contemporary art msueum are more up to date then most of the galleries here.

But I have accepted offers to curat shows for galleris in the next comming years, and that is not a problem, and it might actually show that Aasan is right: there are no, not one single, institution that will take a chance on me, not even those in norway, but by the end of 2007 I have, if everything goes as planned, curated 3 shows as I like in three different commercial galleries in three different countries. Strange.




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