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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Burning bridges can be fun

Howdy!

Yesterday, I had an interesting email conversation with Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes. It concerned one line in a post of his that I thought was unfairly picking on someone. As I still think he is unfairly picking on that person, I figured posting my email exchange with Mr. Green (with the lead pipe in the conservatory) might be interesting to three people. Since two of those people are important to me, you must be the third.

Full disclosure: I have not, nor do I intend to ask Mr. Green for permission to post this. However, if he requests that I take down the post, I will - so I have no idea how long this will last. Read now, read often, and then memorize and destroy.

Secondly, contrary to my previous postings of email conversations, (with Murray Whyte of the Toronto Star and Jerome Delgado of La Presse) my running commentary is in italics throughout. Apologies to everybody who doesn't give a hoot, come back tomorrow, I'll be back in regular form.

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 13.28
To: tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Subject: A quick question

Howdy!

What's with the picking on Lenny? I do not see what or how he has done anything to you that would cause what appear to me a fairly constant barrage of invective. It really doesn't make for interesting reading.

Hope everything else is well.

Baseball Sucks
Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 13.30
To: Zeke's Gallery
Subject: Re: A quick question

Then look harder.

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 13.52
To: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: A quick question

Howdy!

See the attachments. Can I get some help, please?

Baseball Sucks
Chris

The attachments were four jpgs. See below for what they were.


attachment 1


attachment 2


attachment 3


attachment 4

-----Original Message-----
From: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 14.02
To: Zeke's Gallery
Subject: RE: A quick question

No, it's not important. I'm not going to drum anything up, let's just say there's a long history.
There are many reasons the guy doesn't get mentioned by me.

And you're still missing my point: I was criticizing DCist for running reviews by someone with clear conflicts of interest, not the author.

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 14.31
To: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: A quick question

Howdy!

OK, fine enough. I can sense when it is better to let sleeping dogs lie :-)

As for the conflict of interest. From my perspective, if a gallery owner states clearly and loudly that they run a gallery, then any review they write would be ok in my books. Heck, I write reviews all the time. Where I find it a little bit slipperier is when critics go and curate shows. Because, often there is stuff happening behind the scenes that most people would not be aware of. Where with gallery owners, I assume that the general public could be able to figure out what's what.

Up here, Nicolas Mavrikakis did curate a show (he's the reviewer for the local equivalent of the Washington City Paper) and did not disclose in the paper what he was doing (he had reviewed all of the artists in his show, favorably, in the months leading up to his show, called ironically enough "How to be an artist.") His newspaper, wasn't even aware of what he was doing on the side.

On the brighter side, Bernard Lamarche (the reviewer for the local equivalent of the NYTimes) did a show at the Musee des Beaux Arts du Quebec. He and his newspaper decided that it would be a good idea if he didn't review any museum exhibitions for a year on either side of his show. While I'm not certain I agree with how they decided to avoid the conflict of interest I applaud them for trying.

Then in the case of Sarah Milroy (the woman who took Blake Gopnik's place at the Globe and Mail) which wasn't about an exhibit that she curated, but a review of a show by close friends, she and the G&M just completely dropped the ball. See here for my post on it.

And if you're interested this is the text of my email to the Globe and Mail about Ms. Milroy's article:
-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Saturday, April 16, 2005 15.17
To: newsroom@GlobeAndMail.ca
Cc: Letters@GlobeAndMail.ca; egreenspon@globeandmail.ca
Subject: Conflict of interest policies

Howdy!

Do you have any conflict of interest or ethical policies for your arts reporters? And are they the same, or different as for reporters in other sections? In today's edition of the Globe and Mail there is an article by Sarah Milroy that states at the beginning of the article "I have known Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft as friends for nearly a decade, but I have only recently begun to think of them as art collectors." And while on the surface it seems that she is doing the full-disclosure dance and being completely transparent, I can't help but thinking that there is a double standard at work here. If Mathew Ingram was friends with Darren Entwistle, would a sentence like "I have known Darren Entwistle as a friend for nearly a decade, but I have only recently begun to think of him as the CEO of the largest company in Vancouver" have been published in your newspaper? Or would you have assigned the article about Telus to someone else?

Your Truly
Chris Hand

Zeke's Gallery
3955 Saint Laurent
Montreal, Quebec H2W 1Y4
(514) 288-2233


Full disclosure takes care of 99% of conflict of interest to me - and with the other 1% retractions, corrections, and implementations of CoE policies should work fine. To me there isn't enough writing about the visual arts, and there's even less reading of the visual arts. Stumping to get somebody silenced (even if there is a history) doesn't benefit the community at large.

On a brighter note, have you read, do you read Rebecca Mazzei? Arts editor for the Detroit Metro Times. She has got to be one of the best writers I have come across in a very long time.

And finally, when are you coming to town? Jonathan Glancy is going to be here at the beginning of May, the MACM has got a summer blockbuster opening in the middle of the Month, and Marc Mayer, its director gives very good quote, and and and.

Baseball Sucks
Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 15.31
To: Chris @ Zeke's Gallery
Subject: by the way....

Care to explain what you mean?

He gives lip service to the internet in paragraph four by quoting Tyler Green. However in an article about Art Critics, talking to Mr. Green would be the equivalent of me writing about hockey and quoting Garrett M. Graff about the Capitals.

This is a quote from a previous post of mine. Notice how Mr. Green ignores all of my previous questions and centers immediately on his name. Also, only after I brought the post to his attention (after all I wrote it on Friday, and while I recognize that there aren't many people who are as obsessed with my blog as I am, I do figure that any blogger that is worth their salt does know enough about Technocrati, and other methods to keep track of when and where their name is mentioned.)


-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.03
To: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: by the way....

Howdy!

No offense intended at you. But your blog, serves as a pointer to other places where there are reviews. There is not much "criticism" in there per se. As it is the only reference to the internet in Mr. Speigler's piece, it struck me as being in there in a rather incongruent manner. Then (and this is where you might take it personally - apologies in advance and after the fact) doing art reviews for Bloomberg, and using you as a source for his piece about critics, while being good for you - I can't really see Bloomberg as being where an awful lot of folks are going to go for their "art reviews." As I wrote, sort of like going to Mr. Graff about his views on Hockey to buttress an article about the Capitals. Heck doing Art Reviews for AP, or CNN wouldn't be much better, the parent organization's priorities are elsewhere. I'm not faulting you or your opinions, just where they are and what I imagine is the expected response from the reader.

Had Mr. Speigler quoted whoever is writing the ArtForum blog, you and Terry Teachout and maybe someone else about art criticism on the internet, that would have been alright. Had he quoted anybody who was not earning $150/piece as a freelancer, that would have been alright. Had he done some comparison to say the criticism in the Voice in the 50's, or pamphlets in London in the 1880's that would have been alright. Heck, had he just re-written Andras Szanto that would have been wonderful.

Baseball Sucks
Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.07
To: Zeke's Gallery
Subject: RE: by the way....

Interesting. I suppose that two-time Pulitzer winner Joe Morgenstern doesn't count as a film critic because not an awful lot of people go to the Wall Street Journal for movie reviews. After all, the WSJ's priorities are elsewhere.

Nice redirect here. What Morgenstern, the Pulitizer Prize or the Wall Street Journal has to do with our discussion, I don't know.

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.14
To: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: by the way....

Howdy!

Exception proves the rule. Heck I read Dan Neil and I've never had a driver's license or driven a car.

Baseball Sucks
Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.14
To: Zeke's Gallery
Subject: RE: by the way....

Most interesting.

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.22
To: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: by the way....

Howdy!

I'm not saying that you or Morgenstern (BTW where was he quoted?) a bad writer, just saying that in an article about how art criticism sucks, he (quite possibly, intentionally) avoided any Art Critic who was a "must read."

Baseball Sucks
Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.24
To: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: by the way.... follow up

Howdy!

And quoting from a three year old Jerry Salz article doesn't count :-)

Baseball Sucks
Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.24
To: Zeke's Gallery
Subject: RE: by the way.... follow up

With each email you amuse me more.

Obviously trying to bait me. If I can pat myself on the back, I didn't bite.


-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.26
To: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: by the way.... follow up

Howdy!

I aim to please. So, back to the original question - when are you coming to town.

Baseball Sucks
Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.28
To: Zeke's Gallery
Subject: RE: by the way.... follow up

Our email exchange has me so eager.

If he thinks that Zeke's Gallery is the only reason to come to town, and if you remember from above, I didn't even make mention of a darn thing happening here at Zeke's Gallery, then to my mind Mr. Green really doesn't give two hoots about art in any way shape or form, and is only interested in seeing his name in print as often and as large as possible. This is the email that really made me angry.

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 16.34
To: Tylergreendc@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: by the way.... follow up

Howdy!

Keep me posted, and have a great day. I gotta get back to work, now.

Baseball Sucks
Chris

So, I bowed out. Thanks for bearing with me on this. I fully expect that Mr. Green will remove me from his blogroll, I'm not terribly worried. On the other hand because of his behavior, I will no longer read him.

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