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Cultural advisor to Le Pen joins I V Y paris

Hot on the heels of the news that the group I V Y paris shares it's moniker with a sinister cult we have a new member of the group. Phillipe Herlin, "cultural advisor" to  Jean-Marie Le Pen.

He took exception to a a newsletter item calling for support of Medecins du Monde's petition against the new directive jeopardising the right of those in France to gain medical care if their health is in danger, whatever their status.

I was baffled by his email sent the same day:

Que vient faire ici : "PETITION against Sarkozy's latest conneries" ??? Vos opinions politiques on s'en fiche ! Si vous utilisez un site consacré à l'art pour faire de la politique, ce n'est pas honnête. Médecins du monde est une organisation d'extrême gauche qui encourage à la consommation de drogue, j'exige de ne plus jamais recevoir de sollicitations de cette organisation."

Then he posts on the I V Y paris message board

I don't have a in-depth knowledge of how the Front National are functioning in France but in the UK the BNP (British National Party) are gaining support based entirely on the pseudo-problem of immigration. For year's now the Murdoch press, are leaving no fact undistorted to blame social ills and inequality on immigrants. 

Last Friday, 18 year old Christopher Alaneme was stabbed to death in Kent in a racist attack, and the British Crime Survey estimates that there are more than 200,000 racially motivated incidents every year.

In the UK Neo-Labour are using the BNP as an electoral scare tactic which is what happened in France and why we're stuck with Chirac now.

Wow, this is the first

Wow, this is the first time I have ever worked on a project where there were 4 press releases: English, French, Spanish, Japanese, and still counting. That also means: four times checking for typos and arguing the toss over the content - prepared of course to fit in with all the "local differences" - and getting agreement from a multitude of people with the requisite language skills. Of course all this done to a tight timeline.


Propaganda mission: Paris 13

I am heading down to rue Louise Weiss in the 13th with Wendy Billingsea on Saturday. We reckon it's a good place to distribute more of our I V Y paris propaganda. Get off the metro at Chevaleret (line 6) and head for rue Louise Weiss, rue Duchefdelaville and rue du Chevaleret. The galleries in this part of town will give you a taste for the younger artists, some, but not all, from Paris.

I have to say the opening hours can be a little erratic so check before heading for the 13th arrondissiment, a district under construction which has seen the emergence of a succession of galleries in recent years. Originally set up as a community project, sharing the rent on premises that could be divided up, sharing invitation lists and holding joint vernissage like this Saturday 29th April from 4pm.  The next one is Thursday 8th June. 

Interesting are galleries such as Kréo, devoted entirely to design, or Jousse Entreprise which exhibits both 1950s furniture and contemporary art. It was here that Emmanuel Perrotin (now in the Marais with the older-guard), took a gamble on the Japanese artist Murakami before he landed the Louis Vuitton bags.

The best bet this weekend is probably Galerie Magda Daynz showing Miss Van’s super-sexy graffiti and Galerie Praz-Delavallade showing Iranian-born-Swiss-based video artist, Shahryar Nashat.  Miss Van’s after-show party is at La Suite - for guest list aftershow@magda-gallery.com

Air de paris
Galerie GB Agency
Galerie Almine Rech
Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve

The box of flyers is

The box of flyers is steadily decreasing. It seems to be a mad dash around town to deliver more to those who have run out and to get home in time for those dropping by to replenish.

Happy Birthday I V Y paris blog

Happy birthday to my little blog! I can't imagine life without you now.  And to coincide with this auspicious anniversary, you've got me into trouble with a nutcase because I mentioned smoking an illegal substance in some early posts. I didn't even inhale, promise.

Great start to a Monday

Great start to a Monday morning. Yeah!, Stormhoek come thru as the sponsor for the wine. Now we've got to come up with some interesting ways to help them get the most of their participation in the event.

Not just drinking six glasses and trying to rub up against the Director's wife at the bar.


Promotion duties again but it was a pleasure to attend the Literary Review of New Fiction launch at Shakespeare and Co. Editor Dominic Jensen (also showing in the I V Y Paris expo) was struggling to man the bar as hodes of thirsty young writers were completely engulfing him.  The aim of the publication is to help discover and promote new writers of fiction (short stories, novels, plays, screenplays) by publishing samples of their work.

Later at Chez Momo, a nearby Moroccon restaurant on rue de la Huchette those flyers turned out to be a good conversation starter for the mischief making would-be-cupids, Anne Marie and Priscilla. Wendy Billingsea catches the eye of a photographer at the next-door table. It turns out he is straight out of a Boys Own comic. But cute and...somewhat impassioned.  He told us he was not at all an artist but a sociologist. He tried the world of art sickened by it's ineffectiveness he followed his own personal calling.  He said these day's French artists were not at all engagé and a heated argument ensues. Wendy cites Thomas Hirschorn but the guy knows what he is talking about, "He's SWISS" he says, while pulling out his Zapatista membership card to prove to us bourgeois swine just what a revolutionary he is.

"Can I speak to Emmanuel Perrotin please?"

This weekend I've been in front of the computer again, despite the gorgeous spring weather - I am destined to stay a pasty shade of white. An important aspect of the show will be to showcase the artist's work to galeristes so I spent all day on Saturday mailing invitations to a hand-picked bunch of art-pimps.  Well I didn't mail them as I don't want them to arrive back from their country retreats on Tuesday morning to find the card buried under a pile of their post (most galleries take Monday off). I'll send them out Tuesday and give a call round the day they drop;

"Can I speak to Emmanuel Perrotin please?"
C'est QUI a l'appareil? "C'est de la part de QUI"
"Suzanne Hollands d'I V Y paris"
" Sigh, Ach-Oh-EL-El-ah-en-day-es"
"il et en réunion - a Miami"
"Okay, bye"

I've been encouraging artists to contact their respective country's Cultural Centres. It's important that they use this opportunity to invite types who they can tap into in the future, for instance if they need funding for projects, to perhaps exhibit in one of the Instituts. And while we're at it, their country's reps at the OECD and UNESCO, what the hell, their Embassies.

The other important invitees are the people with buying power. It's all very well filling a space for a vernissage but I've been at plenty of exhibitions where we've all had a great time but no one has sold any of their work. I am not saying that making a sale is the be-all-and-end-all, but it's very important for the progression of each artist and as recompense for the sheer amount of hard work that's gone into pulling off their exhibition. So the other important invitees are the people with disposable income.  Harder then you think in Paris. So that does not normally mean other artists, it means lawyers, consultants, bankers and other people with full time jobs.

Cheers or tears?

The search to find a booze sponsor for the I V Y paris spring expo continues. Stormhoek could be perfectly provocative.

Thanks Anina for the contact. Fingers crossed.

I've already tried all the champagne contacts I know, a Brazilian Beer, a wine tasting company, and others have tried Heineken, Absolut and all the national drinks of the artist's involved.  Nothing. 

We're still waiting to hear from Martini. It would be great if they could resurrect that rollerskating waitress from the adverts in the 80's and bring her along.  Anytime. Anyplace. Anywhere.


The I V Y paris expo is generously sponsored by San Franciso-based HIFX, a unique currency service that allows individuals and companies to send currency abroad at fixed and protected rates. I have a relationship with HIFX already because they work with Bonapart Consulting clients who are transferring large sums for their real estate purchases. Because the show will attract many international residents of Paris they'll get a lot out of it in terms of PR and networking opportunities on the night. 

We already got more press today in ThisFrenchLife and FranceinLondon.
Doug Johnson is coming from the San Francisco office and colleagues from London will be joining him.  He writes me with his travel details because I'm determined to make sure he can find the church and arrives without any hassle. But he's a relaxed kind of guy and more interested in finding out the dress code for his girlfriend.  I told him, it's not the Oscar's so she shouldn't dress up too much but she can be "glam".

That's a thought, what will I wear? :)

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