Well, Glory Be and the Lord Above Praised a 'review' has finally appeared.
Today jozan.com, the decidedly down-market rug world organ known for its similar to carpet collector magazine’s amateurish reportage and barely semi-knowledgeable opinions, published what could only be considered a glorified, starry-eyed insider's take on the icoc event in DC.
Written john howe, the would be far too ever present internet pundit with barely a timble-full of rug savvy between his ears, any attendee who did not drink heartily of the kool-aid might have to rub both eyes a few times to make sure what howe says is describing the icoc they experienced.
Besides being ill-equipped to be a worthy, knowledgeable commentator, howe was far from unbiased as he was a 'speaker' and is long time textile museum brown nosed toadie.
What else was he to do but praise this less than mediocre, dead on arrival event?
Here are a few gelastic howe quotes followed by RK's light of truth.
Washington, DC, in August, you say? Well, it all turned out very well. Planned and produced on a very short schedule, requiring Wendel Swan, who needed to be nearly omnipresent to put things together and bring it all off, the International Conference on Oriental Carpets was a real success.
A real success by whose terms? john howe’s, don’t make RK laugh.
And wouldn’t anyone with cranial capacity exceeding a squirrel, which apparently lets howe out, ask WHY was this event done on such short notice and so hastily planned?
Here’s why: Both the increasingly feeble and atrophied icoc organization and desperate for approval textile museum chairman of the board bruce, big mouth, baganz needed a shot in the arm to save their asses, regardless of the reality this event would and could do absolutely nothing but provide a brief and meaningless sugar-rush-fix to their increasingly obvious rigor mortis.
The textile museum has gone from basically heading sideways for the past almost decade to now sinking inside it’s new FoggyBottom footprint.
Witness the glaring fact no new textile museum exhibitions are scheduled for the next two years or more.
And to think big mouth brucie got applauded when he spoke on the icoc stage about how he has saved the museum and provided sustainability?
What a bunch of cheap con-man hogwash, this shiny suited dude should have been booed and pelted with rotten tomatoes.
The hotel and dealers’ fair was in one place, four exhibitions were scattered about, the academic sessions were held one block from the Textile Museum, but it all worked.
It all worked for who? Those who got free hotel rooms, food and other perks?
Go ask those Fair dealers, who paid plenty to show, how well they did.
Saying it all worked well is like saying Titanic survivors had an exciting cruise.
The conference sold out and the registrants, often critical of nearly any conference, gave ICOC 13, deservedly, good marks.
From what RK has heard since only the kool-aid drinking hajji baba, icoc loving sycophants attended who would expect any of this silence of the lambs crowd to utter even a quiet Bo Peep of critique under their breath?
Registrants just made it to see “Unraveling Our Identities, Our Stories, the 100 piece exhibition with which the TM opened its new building on the George Washington, DC campus.
Hardy Har Har – this exhibition, which has been panned by everyone and anyone who has seen it including textile museum toadies, is a curatorial embarrassment and proves baganz and company have no idea what constitutes an acceptable level of curatorial rigor to compare with the TM exhibitions held before they came on board.
Plus the building itself has been called an architectural mediocrity and throwaway tasteless concrete structure.
In the same building where the academic sessions were held, Wendel Swan curated what seems to be, perhaps, the first exhibition entirely devoted to cushion covers. Swedish material (new to many) dominated, but there were Anatolian yastiks and Baluch balishts.
Well guess we all have to forgive john howe who was one of the nincompoops who pretended to present something he, and surely no on else, would call academic.
RK would not even characterize the ‘lectures’ as watered-down academics, classic comic book quality being even too lofty a descriptor.
And speaking of H20, water boy wendle swan could not curate a worthy exhibition if his life depended on it.
Swindle swan is the perfect poster boy loser for many others in rugDUMB whose names are as vacant of real achievement as his regardless of the decades of trying.
And from the opinions we have sought there was not one piece in this show worthy of even a second look, forget any masterpieces.
My eye was taken especially by a, gauche, pieced, 18th century Swedish piece.
Dead-eye howe would not know a masterpiece from a mastadon, this choice being proof.
Wendel also curated a tightly-focused 17-piece exhibition on rugs and textiles with “niche” patterns. There was some very high-quality material in this little exhibition and I’ve had trouble choosing. I very much liked the sparseness and spaciousness of this little Karapinar piece, dated to 1800.
While swan's not as dead-eyed as howe he surely is not an eagle-eye and this show too was called “mediocre”, and “nothing really interesting” by everyone we know who attended.
And the supposed circa 1800 “Karapinar” is neither a Karapinar or circa 1800.
We’d opinon it is a Konya environs village rug circa 1840/50 at best.
Alberto Boralevi, organized an academic program that drew steady registrant attendance.
You can be sure that ‘steady registrant attendance’ was more do the fact there was nothing else rug-wise to do in August hot/humid DC than the quality of the ‘academics’.
The usual luminaries Walter Denny, Dennis Dodds, Elena Tsareva, Jim Ford and John Wertime were authoritative and sometimes provocative.
Luminaries? Well in deep dark poorly illuminated rugDUMB even the dullest bulb can be called luminary.
And woe on to any intelligent reader who rightfully might expect howe to do what any qualified and astute reviewer would do and discuss even one provocative utterance the luminaries made.
Of course none were forthcoming from hapless howe.
Bruce Baganz and Sumru Krody talked about how the TM’s move to the George Washington University community assured “sustainability” and provided new opportunities for study and research on oriental carpets.
Big mouth bruce and Krody, who has inherited by forfeit daniel walker’s job along with his do nothing moniker, should have been grilled and roasted in their own juices for presenting this despicable charade, not applauded, even by mini-brain reviewer hapless howe.
The dealers’ fair held in the conference hotel drew 19 dealers from the international textile world and market. Ali Aydin, who had charge of organizing it, said that despite its somewhat remote location in the conference hotel, in general, dealers did OK.
What else would the organizer say? Fact is nobody did well, and OK is a meaningless term and one we are sure none of the dealers we spoke with would agree.
Few, very few, attendees came back for a second or third visit and absolutely no public was seen anywhere near the fair.
We sincerely doubt dealers will sign up for any more of these poorly attended, money losing icoc screw-job rug fairs.
Wendel is to be congratulated. He and his associates put on a conference that combined quality material, an interesting, informative, academic program, and a good time. There were smiles, all round, going out the door.
From what RK imagines many of those smiles were due to people being glad to leave, get home and away from this worthless waste of time event where nothing but some socializing had any real value.