MSB brainstorming

01 October 2006

Site Introduction in English

Swiss Art Sharkforum

Can Swiss artworld denizens actually discuss and analytically argue about art?
We think so.

We would like to announce the founding of a new, East-Swiss on-line art magazine. Titled "Swiss Art Sharkforum," it is, in fact, a so-called "blog-zine" or "blog collective," meaning a group of contributors will be semi-regularly posting their thoughts on art and culture, with an emphasis on Switzerland and an even stronger emphasis on the eastern, German-speaking part of the country.

The blog-zine is organized and edited by Mark Staff Brandl, who is an artist, art historian and critic based in eastern Switzerland. Besides writing for the eminent Art in America "hard copy" magazine coming from New York City, Brandl is the "foreign correspondent" for the blog-zine titled SHARKFORUM: Opinion With Teeth based in the US and created by Chicago artists Wesley Kimler and David Roth. Painter Kimler has long been nicknamed "the Shark" due to his fierceness in discussions. Kimler has been quite a controversial figure, known for giving very outspoken interviews in which he champions painting, attacks the artworld hierarchy and what he perceives as a curatorial, Neo-Conceptual academy, advocating independence and self-reliance on the part of creators. He is also renowned in the contemporary Chicago artworld for his work rallying for a new art scene. Thus, the blog-zine was named for him. Due to the success of that site in generating active critical exchange (even to the point of vicious argument), Brandl decided to attempt to tie into some of that energy and link it to his chief place of residence --- Switzerland. This new Swiss site will feature writing about art, the artworld and related entities from the perspective of both an insider and an outsider, being a dual-citizen US-foreigner living in Switzerland. Swiss Art Sharkforum is inspired by, linked to, and a sub-development of
(Where, by the way, we get between 11,000 and 26,000 hits per day.)

Additionally, Brandl will be joined by a group of other bloggers, such as Matthias Kuhn, Alex Meszmer, Steve Litsios, Daniel F. Ammann and any others. Kuhn is an artist and the co-president of the artists association Visarte.ost, well known for his analytical stance toward art. Mesmer is a German artist living in Switzerland with a performance-oriented artistic approach. Litsios is an artist from the western, French-speaking section of Switzerland, who will hopefully help contribute to a discussion between these areas, one long absent. Ammann is an author and theorist who will be the link to the literary world. These creators will be writing in their native tongues, hence this blog-magazine will be in English, German, French and maybe even Swissgerman. We will also be heavilly featuring links to, re-publications of, and discussions of other printed discussions of art in and from Switzerland, and most of all the "Ostschweiz."

This site will NOT be wishy-washy, it will not be a simple reportage on events; it will endeavour to offer authentic critical analysis and exchange, even to the point of dispute. The intention of Swiss Art Sharkforum is to draw attention to the exciting Swiss artworld, while stimulating open, critical discussion of art and art issues, something Switzerland sorely lacks. Join in!

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