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"They messed with the wrong person..."

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:45 am
by CAP
The tedious Art Basel Fair (oh the irony) has spat out one of its own for the upcoming edition of the suck-fest - expelling the Leipzig/Berlin gallery Eigen+Art.

Miffed dealer, Gerd Harry Lybke (no I didn't make that up) accuses other Berlin galleries of conspiring to keep him (and other established galleries) from the feeding trough of Amerikan mega-collectors and warns them “They are messing mit der wrong guy – pigdogs. Just remember Ich bin ein Ossie.” Meaning: hey I used to deal with the Stasi, who were like the Nazis, but with star quality. You want to be unfriendly, schatzi? Vee can be unfriendly...”

Phew! cracks in the well-oiled, German marketing machine. What can it mean? Actually I can believe it, having seen enough bitchiness and condescension from Berlin critics toward the provincial little Leipzigers and the former DDR in general. You get it a lot in the resentful recognition of Neo Rauch, and in the almost open derision of the Dresden artists. I see it as basically a growing anxiety attack by the Berlin art scene over not having quite grown its own yet, and desperate to find a brand, if only by excluding established brands. As usual, it's all about the money, and whether money can actually buy talent. So far, doesn't look like it.

London's probably better placed than Berlin for that kind of radical revision. :twisted:

Re: "They messed with the wrong person..."

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:45 am
by Jim
What's Basel's reason for booting them out?

Re: "They messed with the wrong person..."

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:54 am
by CAP
See the link in the above text on Eigen+Art to the story - it's not all that new, but it details the murky in-fighting. I don't know that the Swiss actually have a lot of input, apart from the location. The whole thing is run by an international committee of dealers whose job it is to make themselves seem more important than other (excluded) dealers. You know the deal. :o

Re: "They messed with the wrong person..."

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:53 pm
by CAP
Well Eva Presenhuber (or similar) - gun Zurich franchise for the usual 'international' artists was on the selection committee for Art Fawlty - so Swiss, but German, no?

What seemed especially suspect to the German press was the fact that the selection committee is comprised of dealers also participating in Art Basel - as if a director showing a film at Cannes or Venice, would also be a judge of one of the prizes at such a festival or on the selection committee (!) - or similar parrallels for say The Booker Prize or The Turner...

Then again the whole thing could be just a publicity stunt to try and whip up a bit of interest for a high profile marketing exercise in the face of an ominous stagnation in economy and budgets. ;)