We arrived in Paris with an open mind, but when it came to art bookshops, all the clichés about people there began to occur! The art scene there appears to be really stale and people were very conservative and extremely rude. One example; the bookshop ‘books by artists – Florence Loewy’. It is normal, internationally, for book makers to approach shops, even unnannounced and ask if they’d like to see a selection of your work for their stock. Usually they say yes, and they come over, take a look through books, ask questions, and have a conversation. Even booksellers who decide they cannot sell this kind of book because of their remit take a keen personal interest and offer encouraging advice. The guy in this shop refused to stand up and come into the space so we had to squeeze into a space about two foot square. I put a book in front of him but he waited for me to open it for him like a toddler refusing to eat. When he was asked to hold one he turned about a page and a half before handing it back and saying he didn’t sell books like ours. From what was in the shop he clearly did sell our kind of books, what he meant was that we weren’t famous. We wouldn’t mind someone politely saying ‘no thank you’, but he decided to say yes and spend the next few minutes trying to humiliate us in little ways. Why go out of your way to be so rude?
These were the only reactions we have ever had like this. It is disappointing to see this city takes so little interest in anyone who isn’t already making megabucks, and therefore how is new work supposed to develop? This is probably why most of the work represented was by British, American, and German artists. Unfortunately there were also problems at the exhibition we’d been invited over to be in. When we found we didn’t like the direction things were taking we pulled our work out of the exhibition and we cancelled our presentation. Maybe we were incredibly unlucky, and you experienced things differently. If so please comment below or maybe you had a similar experience.