You work your guts off for an exhibition, put your energy into every single little detail that goes into organising a group show, come up with last minute ideas you really think will round-off the concept perfectly, spend an entire pre-opening weekend stressing the fuck out about everything from lighting to attendance then, finally, opening night is upon you and there’s nothing you can do about it. The barbarians are at the gate and the public now has its word to say…
One of the small touches we added to the show at the very last minute was a mantle paying tribute to the many photographers working in Belgium today. The wording we used for the mantle was “This group show is dedicated to all the photographers working in Belgium today”, a heading we followed with the first names of all the photographers whose work we had come across in the six years since we launched the magazine (and not, as it came to be understood, the names of all the photographers we had worked with at The Word) and signed off with “The Word Magazine”.
And that’s when shit hit the fan.
The thing is, and don’t ask us how we didn’t see this coming, but such an initiative was always bound to have flaws. Although the initial intention was always meant to be a good one, the clumsiness of the wording used opened us to criticism, as you can see below.
The discontent over the carelessness of our words finally resulted in a brave soul taking it upon himself to correct the sentence on the mantle itself, sending Bozar’s security apparatus into a panic:
This unparalleled act of bravery (caught on Bozar’s security cameras) led us to our next (undoubtedly clumsy, careless and prone-to-criticism) idea.
Starting now and up until the end of the show on 31 August, we’re calling upon each and every Belgian photographer we had the nerve to leave out to add to our mantle in his/her personal way. A signature, a picture, a CV, a sticker, a press clipping of a shoot of yours published in a magazine, a hand-written note….
The ball is now in your court.
And we’re sorry.
And we love you.
Each and everyone of you.
(Especially you Philippe, Roland and Sergej)The Word presents The Belgian Six Until 31 August 2014 Bozar, Brussels