, originally uploaded by stanleylieber.
"So all the artists are your friends?"
"... and you say it like it's a bad thing?"
B-galleria is a non-profit art gallery located in Turku, Finland (population 176 242). It's run by a group of young local volunteers: artists, designers, art and art history students and other people who are interested in being involved in creating happenings, art shows, music shows - instead of just whining and pining for a better, richer "cultural life". I've been involved in B activities since the second show held in February 2005 and today is the celebration of the gallery's 5th birthday.
These guys in the pic are Irana Douer and Hernan Paganini, from Argentina, who put up a show in the back room of B-galleria this week as they were touring Europe and passing through Finland. I couldn't attend in person but I hope to meet them soon as they are visiting Berlin.
I've known Irana and her work through the internet since the early 2000s. Now she came all the way from Argentina and was in my home town! Maybe that's normal now, sure, but I can't help feeling amused. A bit unsettled too, to realize how I'm pleased with internetassisted globalization for bringing all these cool people into my life. My best memories of B have to do with putting up small happenings and shows with friends, like the Plastic Bag Happening last summer with Jason Rosenberg and Emily Ryan. The ability to share time and make something happen, in the privacy of your own home town, but extending towards other corners of the world via the internet. Of course running a gallery is a lot of work and the way we run it at B is often bordering on chaotic and disorganized, but I feel it's all worth it. This wave of _____ when you are turning the key to the gallery to step in. That there is this space. And we've held a show here every month for the last 5 years. It's amazing.
Some people -quite often middle aged men-, had a hard time understanding why I spent so much time with the gallery and I've had some confused and ultimately tiring conversations over the issue.
- So let me get this straight.. you don't get any money from it?
-No, I just do it because I like it.
- So like... a hobby?
- Yeah you could say it's a hobby.
- (pause) Well, I play basketball and I know why I play basketball- I play basketball because it keeps me fit. But what do you gain from having these shows, I have no idea.
Well. Sometimes it's hard to give answers for other people straight away.
I'd want to put up all the names of the cool people who I've met through B / who have helped in creating things there / driven a screw to the wall etcetera but too many to mention and forget.
So happy birthday B-family! Stay small, expand!