December 3rd 2023
I have just crossed the German-Swiss borders, for the first time after years. A sort of renewed exile started when my mummy unexpectedly got animated once again. To be honest, it is also a mystery how my body got translated from Moscow to Zurich. I assume that I need to thank some anonymous patron, perhaps a Swiss millionaire who, after having inherited a conspicuous substance from his father, wanted to sustain the socialist cause. Leftist millionaires are however not anymore the standard. It could have been much more fashionable some decades ago, according to my recent studies. It is much more probable that a well renowned consulting company, one of the biggest ones, at the behest of an American lobby, tried to recreate the conditions that one hundred years ago ignited the Red Revolution. Perhaps ignoring the fact that Lenin himself has recognised the lunacy of his movement. During my experience in the museum, I received a taste of the consultancy world as well. A small agency from Ticino wanted to digitalise the collection for a reasonable fee. Despite the fact that I am not acquainted with new technologies, my assumption of “reasonable” is based on the comparison with my monthly salary. The presumption of the owner was remarkable, as much as the emptiness of the dialogues preferred by the youngsters in suit on the public transportation in Yurich. There are some in my train as well, traveling beside me with their eyes fixed on the screen of their laptops. It is perhaps much worse than the effects of opium.
The art dealer
As expected, more than one interesting name has issued new works during the week. Alex Katz is among them, with a series dedicated to Autumn. He is however getting somehow boring and repetitive. What I found great is a series of portraits, women and men, whose character is depicted with a few lines. I particularly like an Afroamerican, by profile, whose value should increase with the time only because of the politically correct subject. All the other personßs in Katz production will be less and less interesting if the woke movement will impose its view on collectors as well. Unexpectedly amazing is on the contrary the new Brian Clark’s drop by Heni. At first sight it looked to be exaggerated. More than three hundred collages created by the old white man, with paper and paint. At five thousand dollars each, they sound like a bargain. I still remember the beautiful works on glass he had issued, also by Heni, a few years ago. They were much more expensive and even for my own gallery they constituted a substantial investment. These works would also perfectly fit with Yinka Shonibare’s series of African Birds. For which I need to thank the wonderful work made along the years by Cristea Roberts gallery in the U.K. They are perhaps the best publishers right now, at the very same level of Mixografia and Gemini G.E.L. , with the exception that they are U.K. based and begin from scratch.
I reached the museum at the end and behaved like a perfect stranger. Pretending to be attracted much more by the wooden toys on sale and the Japanese animations of my childhood. I had already visited, a few years ago, an exhibition at the Landesmuseum in Zürich, dedicated to Heidi in Japan. I had been able to admire the original sketches signed by Hayzo Miyazaki and Iso Kakahata, it was a great experience. Of which I took advantage to introduce myself with the museum’s employees. One of them was a sort of a boy scout, a young man coming from Bern. Quite unpleasant as he replied so concisely to any kind of questions I could make him. He was assertive about any possible subject, but his feedback was really useful because it allowed me to prepare my attack to the possible psychological resistance of his boss. In a consultancy the partner is usually the only reasonable person sitting in the open space, when he is allowing some time to be spent with the junior consultants. At least he has made his own career and does not need to mob the subordinates. In this case the director of the museum is a self referencing teacher from a local school, working part time for the institution. After a brief monologue about his Ph.D. work on the Swiss wooden toys, he explained to me that such a book, the Heidi’s and Lenin’s book, disappeared from Moscow after an incursion of a band of white cossacks. It is all that he knew about. I imagined them crossing the borders with Turkey and reaching a Greek Island, where they handed over the volume to the Graf von Pazze.