Market, lies and websites: Klimt02 versus Klimt02 (Part 1)

Published: 03.01.2007
Amador Bertome & Leo Caballero Amador Bertome & Leo Caballero
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We are in a complaint culture. (It seems to be the one that replaced the guilt culture). We demand in relation to what we take responsibility for. We demand worse when we do not have a strong sense of responsibility...

Is contemporary jewellery a restricted matter of a small group of people?
We have to admit that the answer will probably be yes, if we take into account aspects such as creation, emotion, interests, needs and acquisitions. But the same happens to others disciplines. Contemporary jewellery can’t be of interest to every one.

The difference, in regard to other disciplines, is that the work being done by art jewellery should reach a larger number of potential but minority public, in order to make them participate in what it is being proposed, researched... all in all contributed to our discipline. There is a deficit which can only be rectify if an initiative of ‘taking up’ on internet is undertaken; giving information to the public, showing them what has been done, to leave the edogamic world in which one is?

The relationship between jewellers and art galleries is of mutual necessity, but the jeweller seems to be dissatisfied. When must the jeweller consider a new relationship? Why don’t new alternatives emerge? Is it perhaps the incapacity to reach a new agreement or is it just that deep down jewellers have adapted to things as are now?
Every ideal contractual relation has to reach an agreement in which both or more parts are satisfied. On the one hand that involves a continual evolution of the accords and on the other hand a true commitment to a common purpose.

We think that this ideal agreement does not exist between jewellers and galleries mainly because the previously referred factors (a new agreement and a common purpose) are understood in the other way around: for one side, galleries refuse to redefine and reorganize the agreement as it is now and on the other hand jewellers seem to be comfortable with the offered situation. No one gives anything to anyone in the business world.

To understand and to give shape to this ‘common propose’ is the solution to the situation. Talking about marketing and forgetting the basic commitments, is like talking about the sex of angels: we could find that out but would we know its purpose?... in the end any initiative lacks of motivation and function. Everything remains in words.

In the free information age, Internet, gallery owners have lost their power situation as anyone has access to all kind of information that had been treasured as if it was gold dust. When will we believe that we are the only ones that can make possible a change? Is it perhaps, the responsibility that each one has the only way of changing some situations?
Like in each humanity advance, some steps forward, consequence of new discoveries, have not but defined and improved a discipline that had before covered others facets. Photography, apart from developing a new mean of expression, a new language, has purified and helped to work on a kind of painting.

The possibility of showing the work done by jewellers and galleries as well as the one done by various institutions and organizations, etc can be found by means of easy access to the whole world (a common space, and interactive). This situation has its drawbacks and advantages. That is a universal law.

If we work to achieve the advantages and get rid of the drawbacks, we all will win.

Internet is in its prehistory. We are testimony of something that will be another thing in the future. We are, in a way, responsible of this; what it will be in the future, how and when this would happen.
Working with the advantages is the right way to contribute to this little story.

There are concepts that approach us to this perspective like for example: knowledge - information, selection, responsibility, participation.
These concepts are in the work done by jewellers and gallery owners, in any kind of attitude or work and, of course, in the whole world. Here we have an example that shows us that even when talking about new technologies, what we really are is talking about an updated way based in the useful principles that have always helped doing things right.

Internet is not the aim, but the way. Internet is not the solution to anything. Internet allows us to adapt, to advance and to improve what has always been valid: to know, to inform, to study, to speak, to think and to enjoy.

We are waiting for a saviour, to save us from our ills; a person who stand up for us while we are lagging behind. When will we realize that in order to achieve these changes we will have to start taking decisions and changing attitudes?
That is clear, but this forms part of human thinking. It is human condition. The saviour can be the utopia’s strength and at the same time the alibi to tranquillise our conscience whenever we refuse to exert our own will.
The saviour can be a course, a book, a business plan… a help or an alibi, it is our decision.

Is it a question of professionalism?
Normally, if you work you invest in possibilities, potential but, unfortunately, results are not guaranteed… and chance has to be sought. A professional is from our point of view, a person who practices a job, and thanks to this that person comes into his/her own and helps others to do so as well.

Not everyone has the same luck, but we cannot ask for certain attitudes, neither to us or to our fellow men, when we are just carrying out a list of tasks to be done or doing everything with a minimum of effort.

We accept the established order, but we do not agree with it… What’s wrong?
We are in a complaint culture.
(It seems to be the one that replaced the guilt culture)
We demand in relation to what we take responsibility for.
We demand worse when we do not have a strong sense of responsibility.
We demand better when we take more responsibilities.

It is a question of equilibrium; a balance between interrelated sets of variables. The mediocrity or the lucidity in certain respects takes us to the affinity with mediocrity or the lucidity of others. Work, experience, memory, question, answer, analysis, knowledge… get together in more or less similar levels, which are ideal for ones and the others, and inevitable related.

Contemporary jewellery moves in a rather limited market, for many reasons including the fact that it does not move a large amount of money. The issue would be to enlarge this market… but, how can we do it?
Working more and better. Being more demanding to ourselves and to others later. Things are worth for what they cost us. Being sincere, respectful and humble. Enjoy, if possible. Afterwards, taking this as a starting point, and perhaps hiring a marketing expert, things will improve.

Why is contemporary jewellery not so well known?
Countless events around the world take place; there are museums, galleries, collectors. Is it a question of snobbery? Or perhaps a question of power?

If we want to see it that way, everything is a question of power. To obtain power, the first and motor condition is to believe in what we do. If we believe in what we do, taking up the space we deserve is just a question of waiting.
Contemporary jewellery needs to improve some aspects and time.

How is the market? If I sell, would that be enough for me?
Short-term solutions, but what about the future? It is a bit complex to talk about market, and especially now that it seems to be a recurrent, mayor, inevitable, centripetal and centrifugal, solution and failure theme… and therefore, all of us should have an opinion.

When a theme covers this much, two possible things can happen: to be either wrongly used or defined.
There are lots of concepts that were in a certain moment in history, converted into the touchstone, and turned consequently into the saviour or alibi. We should be more careful in the future. Power uses them in its own interest.

On the one hand we must assume that the market is not infallible in the relation value /price. The value reached by the piece or the artist with regard to contribution, investigation, risks, intuition, etc… does not set the price, although it can coincide with it.
Obviously, if you sell it is good for us. Things do not go well when you are not selling or not selling enough, or when you think that your works do not reach the ideal price. In the end, with some exceptions, most of us do not sell or do not sell as we want; for them the market does not work… and that is what we can hear everywhere.

In front of this situation there are two attitudes:
The first position show us a situation trough arguments like there’s no money, my works are not commercials ( be careful with this concept, the opposite doesn’t means necessarily too artistic, they could be simply bad), the people / persons does not understand, etc. Self-service arguments: there is an available range, easy availability and calm consciences down.

In the meantime, there is a possible position that understand the market as social being/ entity, and also that we should work in the market to contribute quality knowledge and information, will’s persons is practicable and we need to exercise them, etc.
Through this we have some bases that turn possible to understand a piece that we didn’t understand, if we value the work and price.

But it is not so if there isn’t an exactly piece value… the basic value to trigger the factors is emotional (knowledge and pleasure).

The market? How do we understand it? As a fight of the stronger or as a symbiotic and social fact?. We talk about the market every day, we assume this as untouchable and therefore we can’t interfere. This is not true; but it is a very easy attitude to take.

Is internet a solution? Should we pay for it?
Internet is just an instrument. If you buy a piano it does not mean that you are entail to play it. To inform and to know, to know and to inform is the first step to make our work profitable.

Work has a price. The question is who pays for it. Do this mean that If each one of us does not pay his or her own service, is because he or she does not want to invest in his /her own business? Or, are we waiting for someone who pays for us? Who should pay? In exchange for what? The state? My saviour? My sponsor?

(to be continued)

About the Interviewee

Amador Bertomeu & Leo Caballero
They created this platform and now manage a working group of professionals that make it possible for this community to be what it is today. Other people such as grant holders, computer technicians, designers, communication managers and many more have also collaborated with them at different times along the way.