Home > Archive >Same Old, Same Old re: icoc
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Sat, Apr 28th, 2007 02:32:35 PM
Topic: Same Old, Same Old re: icoc

It would be impossible to read RugKazbah.com without getting the impression rugdom is a pretty screwed-up, pathetic place where the personal interests and agendas of those in charge rule the roost often at the expense of the very claims and virtues these self-appointed "leaders" continually voice. And nowhere is this more apparent then when icoc and acor events happen.

The icoc, which is billed as the international version, and acor, which was originally oriented to the American rug scene but quickly assumed what we have called an icoc-lite stature because both groups now have basically the same group of “names” on their masthead, well demonstrate the effects of this major shortcoming.

Most of these pooh-bahs are nothing more than high-level rug-groupies, who have proven themselves to be completely inept when it comes to organizing a conference and since all past conferences have received considerable criticism one wonders why things have not changed after all these years?

After, and even during, every icoc or acor event the grumblings and complaints about the obvious lack of simple and really very basic organizational skills and awarenesses have trumped the exhibitions no matter how exceptional.

Forget about all those critiques directed at the bloated “academic programs” containing “lectures” that, besides for the free hotel rooms and other perks offered to the “lecturers”, have mostly had little other value or worth to anyone.

This has been the case with EVERY past icoc or acor and the Istanbul icoc appears to be no different.

While RK has yet to complete our look at what happened there, we would like to re-publish the following comments, which by the way are presently posted online elsewhere.

They suggest the latest problems, miscalculations and difficulties were not due to having the event in Istanbul, as we are sure will be cited by those charged with running the show, but rather to bringing this same group of feckless and hapless organizers and letting them screw-up again.

“With two after-hours events each evening, there was no dearth of wonderful textiles to see in a land famous for many kinds of textiles. What was missing was the concept that if one invites a crowd at dinner hour, one should serve food to go along with the wine and other beverages. In all the events, the food was very meager (except for the Topkapi buffet--there the food was plentiful, but not good). People were so hungry that those passing the “starters” around were mobbed when they came out of the door with a tray and it became difficult to get anything to eat. There were no lists of restaurants.

Also, there wasn’t much thought given as to how to get a crowd, and this was a large gathering - hundreds, not tens – moving and flowing through exhibits. (emphasis added, ed)

The event content was excellent, but the execution seemed to have been carried out by amateurs or people who obviously don’t do this very often. It’s a shame, for while I’m sure many will remember the outstanding textiles in Turkey, they will also remember the total lack of real hospitality or planning."(emphasis added, ed)

Reading the above few sentences encapsulates what we know from personal experience has happened at every past conference, icoc or acor, we attended.

After many of these past events, RK has led the chorus of those who want to see future conferences organized more professionally and we will gladly lend our voice here once more.

This recurring problem is truly typical and par for the course for rugdom, where incompetence and self-interests invariably trump all other interests.

RK will continue to examine what really happened in Istanbul and post that information here as soon as possible.

Author: matthias wohlgemuth
email: wohlgemuth@arces.ch
Sat, Apr 28th, 2007 02:32:35 PM

Hi Jack -- No, I did not attend ICOC and, even worse, I have no possibility (yet;-) to scan images. I`ll send you details of Vakiflar pl. 39 taken from websites. -- Matthias

Author: jc
Sat, Apr 28th, 2007 10:11:09 AM

Greetings Matthias:

At the moment there is no rug library for me to consult, so if you would scan the image of that kelim we would be glad to offer some commentary.

RK does have photos of some of the Josephine Powell kelim that were on exhibition in Istanbul, as well as some others in the other exhibitions.

Plus we have a number of photos of others in our digital photo collection which is available to us presently.

By the way, did you go to the icoc? If so, how about posting some of your impressions of the conference, academic program and exhibitions?

Author: matthias wohlgemuth
email: wohlgemuth@arces.ch
Sat, Apr 28th, 2007 04:48:30 AM

Hi Jack It would be of great interest to me which of the Vakiflar kilims RK would "date" back to an archaic period. My favorite, notwithstanding age and without ever having seen it in the flesh, is pl. 39 in the Vakiflar kilim book. Greetings, Matthias

Author: jc
Fri, Apr 27th, 2007 11:59:47 AM

As RK talks with more and more icoc attendees, we continue to hear the same comments - "a few really great exhibitions and overall rather poor organization".

We will soon write a bit more about the icoc but frankly, since we all know well the faults and shortcomings from past icoc events and have seen these complaints disregarded with no apparent change or even a nod to the fact things have to be better handled, we know it's only a waste of words and time to repeat them once more.

On another more promising note, RK plans to post our typically unabashed and critical appraisal of some of the rugs that were on view, especially those from the TIEM and Vakiflar. There is little doubt these were, by and large, the best and most interesting of those shown at the event. It is also clear these two exhibitions were the highlight and most significant accomplishment of icoc 2007.

So stay tuned for more on the Istanbul icoc.

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