in Opinion | 01 JAN 12
Featured in
Issue 144

Get ’em Whilst They’re Hot! They’re Lovely!

frieze speaks to a new wave of young, dynamic gallerists about their hopes and dreams

in Opinion | 01 JAN 12

Carmen Egg-Ruffle
29, Co-Director, Projekt Halle Space Site Room, Berlin

frieze: Tell us a bit about your gallery.

CE-R: It’s not a gallery. It’s a project space. We’re a curatorial intensive that provides emerging practice-based practices with radical platform solutions.

f: I see. What about the artists you represent?

CE-R: We don’t represent artists. We collaborate with 15 artist, and help them exhibit their work.

f: I see From your website that you do art Fairs …

CE-R: We don’t do art Fairs. We work parasitically within the Framework of art Fairs in order to realize our curatorial praxis.

f: Hmm. At these art Fairs, does this ‘curatorial praxis’ involve selling art?

CE-R: OF course not! We don’t sell work: we simulate economic processes of monetary exchange in order to critique the market.

f: How does that work?

CE-R: Well, if someone wishes to erm, collect … No! Hmm, uh, engage with … let’s see … the symbolic … yes! A conceptual contract is drawn up in which a performative exchange is made that involves the transfer of a sum of money to us, in return for which the person making the performative banking gesture is allowed to ‘keep’ an art work by one of our – sorry! – the artists with whom we collaborate. It’s a complex Marxist critique of commodity.

f: So, you’re a gallery and you sell art.

CE-R: [Screaming] You’re such a Fascist! [Runs out of gallery, slamming door. Silence.]

Sunny Zeppelin
29, Director, Mugwump, NYC

f: Strange, they seem to be closed. I wonder when they open …

Rupert Prolestabber
32, Director, Prole & Lunge, London

f: Can you tell us about your gallery?

RP: It’s great. Really great. We had a great dinner after the opening of our first show. Lots of great collectors. Superb. Top notch.

f: How many artists do you represent?

RP: Not sure, but lots of superb collectors. Really incredible work. Fantastic response. Big curators, big collectors. Fantastic. Superb. Did a dinner in Miami this year. Really great. Collectors. Actually we’re doing an after-party tonight.

f: Oh, whose show is opening?

RP: Nobody, we just thought we might be able to get important collectors along. Had a fantastic response. Placed work in some major collections. Excellent curators. Superb. Auctions. Dinners. VIP. Champagne. Incredible pieces. Dealers. Yacht.

f: What inspired you to start a gallery?

RP: Well, Pavlova and I [Pavlova Lunge, co-director] had been to a few really great dinners and just thought we’d really like to do some dinners of our own. Auction. VIP. Fantastic response. Trust fund.

f: What shows do you have coming up?

RP: You know, the first four things I think about when I wake up are: what girl I’m going to call, amazing work, collectors and a cup of coffee. No, not coffee. Collectors. Superb. After-party. Gallery. Auction. Sorry, what was the question?

f: Don’t worry. What plans do you have for the gallery?

RP: VIPS, yacht, New York, fantastic response, gallery, London, dinners, Paris, important collectors, Miami, great, Basel, oligarchs, after-party, on the list, must get …

f: OH JESUS PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME! [Sobs uncontrollably as Prolestabber opens another bottle of champagne.]

Sunny Zeppelin
29, Director, Mugwump, NYC

[Door buzzer: BZZZZ. BZZZZ.]

f: Still no answer. I’ll try calling …

[Phone ringing: BRRR-BRRR]

f: Actually, nobody I’ve spoken to has ever seen any shows here, although I’m assured it’s a very cool space …

Terry Spanglethrift
39, Director, Barrelscrape, London

f: Barrelscrape is your ninth gallery. Why did you start the new space?

TS: [Cries] Bugger, it’s the bailiffs!

[Door slams. Sound of fire exit opening and Footsteps running.]

Minnesota Stalliontamer 
27, Director, Smithson/Felch, NYC

f: Can you talk a bit about …

MS: Sure! The work is by Briyanne Kidney and my mind was totally blown when she showed me these felt-tip drawings on toilet paper of stick men, they’re super-engaged with ideas around painting sculpture printmaking video pop culture cinema, and she’s really hot right now: she’s in the Murmansk Quadrennial in 2047 and probably the 2104 Eaaaster Island Exhibitional … the worrrrrk isss … incredible collections zzzzzrrrrrrrrrzzzzzzzz…

[Interviewee stops moving. A small hatch opens in the back of her head, out of which smoke starts to curl.]

Pete SpackleFarm
32, Director, Cruel Hand of fate Projects, London

f: How did you start the gallery?

PS: [Shivering with cold] Well, I had some money from the insurance after the car accident, and then Mum and Dad gave me the cash they were going to use to re-decorate their council flat, and so did Gran – her life savings actually. She said, what’s the point of holidays at her age. Anyway, hopefully I can pay her back, but I’m holding down eight part-time jobs in the evenings and business is tough … I can’t afford the rent … people are cruel … the art world doesn’t care and critics ignore me … I’m at the end of my tether …

and PS: [Both weep while boiling the kettle for a nice cup of tea.]