A Little Too Early
Most things worthwhile originate out of frustration. Olivier and I were having trouble to get into the flow of working on projects. After our second project (Between screens) as a duo we were seeking how to move on. We questioned the medium of photography on so many levels that we didn't see any opportunities any more. We were finding it harder and harder to share with others what we were working on. It felt like a writers block.
We talked about this with Florian Braakman and it became apparent that he had a similar story. The process of the artist can be quite difficult at times and we thought that would be an interesting theme to research.
On february 19th we organised the event called A little too early. During this evening 6 image makers were invited to tell about how their process works, what questions and doubts they deal with along the way and what it is they are working on right now.
Usually there's a stage for the end-result of a process. Since every individual has become their own online-marketeer we often see of one an other what succeeds, but there's usually a whole range of failures, doubts and dead-end processes.
During this evening the emphasis was put on what didn't go well, on what's still in development and how the final works come about. We wanted to make way for an open conversation about the life of an artist. The approach of the evening was to inspire one another with an honest story of their endeauvours.
For Olivier and me the blog 'Studio experiments' originated out of this presentation evening. On this blog we show what it is that we are working on right now.
Too little too late.
During Unseen 2014 Olivier and I sat down with Florian Braakman. We just released our book Between Screens and he released his first photobook She comes in colors. We were talking about a plan to promote both of our books at Paris Photo. We decided that we were going to hire a table at the Offprint photobook market and got in touch with them. They told us that they liked our books but that we were 'too little' to participate. However, they did tell us that we had a better chance if we asked the smaller photobook market called Polycopies. So, we got in touch with them and they said: I'm very sorry, but you guys are 'too late'.
We thought that we should go anyway and organise our own thing. Inspired by the reactions of Offprint and Polycopies we name our pop-up stand ‘Too little, too late’. We parked our blue van at the river side and offered a glass of red wine and funky tunes to everyone who came by. It seemed that this was exactly what Paris Photo needed. We got loads of good response and even sold a fair amount of books.
Colin Pantall even wrote a little bit about us on his blog:
"[…] The result is you can go from top to bottom of the photography food chain just by moving from Polycopies (a boat full of books) to The Grand Palais and back again. That adds a dimension to the fair and makes it be whatever you want it to be. I bought a photobook called Mc Hotel Tokyo by Olivier van Breugel and Simone Mudde outside the Polycopies Boat. They had a little table with music and free wine. The book cost 2 euros and it is great. But I didn’t buy any of the Mapplethorpe flowers that were on sale in the darkened recesses of one Booth because they cost 300,000 Euros. Paris Photo can be expensive or it can be cheap. At 2 Euros I think I found my market!"