now finally that my adrenalin dropped a bit i can focus and write a slightly more objective statement regarding the brian droitcour rhizome.org article “on tour: southeastern europe travelogue, part 3“.
it is true that i welcomed brian droitcour in our home and he was our guest for several days. i have done this because my impression was he was travelling through and might need a place to sleep over and cut costs. i am always happy to host people who pass by or visit. i did not know what actually brian does. he appeared to be no different than any other traveler – little cash and interested in some relaxation and i was ready to help out. i was not aware he was working or he was interested in writing about anything. he did want to meet artists but i also want to meet artists or athletes or anyone when i go somewhere.
problem is that he never said he will write about me or anything i do. he never presented himself formally. i was keen to discuss my work with him, and also his work, but he seemed bored by that and we spoke about other stuff. he actually showed extreme disinterest in my work which from one side was ok cause we had other stuff to talk about, but on the other i was keen to talk to people about my work as it always offers me a perspective.
he never declared that he is researching me for an article and i never treated him as a journalist. i never gave any statements, never gave him any documents, nothing. i was hanging out with this guy for few days trying to get to know him and for him to understand me better maybe. like with anyone who visits.
indirectly i got a link to the rhizome article a day after it was published. he never told me about his intention to write this nor asked me for approval or use of any of my material.
i was never asked to contribute to this article, i was never asked for any permissions or any approvals. the article was a complete surprise to me. maja ciric sent me the link and she said i got a lot of space. i did not read it, i quickly skimmed it and emailed brian with “nice text”. i felt stupid sending this but we had another argument over emails and i wanted to send something nice. i actually did not read the text. i saw he wrote quite a bit and read few words but i actually had super hard core headache and fever and could not focus.
next day, today, i sat and read the text.
my first impression was: what the fuck is this???
i mean this text is like a parody or something. it has nothing to do with me. my heart rate was like 200bpm. my head was pulsating from adrenalin. i was super angry. i was like this for most of the day. who is this guy to write all this bullshit about me. he was in my home few days ago, my guest, why did he not at least tell me about the article???
almost every word in that text is totally wrong. i can say he got my name write. everything else is like a joke. like someone making fun of what i am and what i do. and how many people have already read this? how did this get approved?
also things he says about ljubljana, zagreb and belgrade are bizarre. text is full of stupid petty stereotypes, misinterpretations, totally reversed ideologies, placed out of context information… also the way he quoted maja ciric, i have met he recently but it seemed strange that he was saying these things and i also did not get an impression he interviewed her. i called her on the phone and she was confused as well – she was never interviewed and she did send some statements but asked to check the text before publishing and he never did this.
basically brian droitcour just put together whatever came to his head and published it with no checking, and no interest in opinions of people who were in the text. he placed strong connotations on me and maja yet these, at least in my case, are terribly wrong (and i think in maja’s) and also he presents everything in a totally wrong concept.
i am not sure if brian ever had journalism training but he probably broke every single rule… and he did everything he could not to prevent these mistakes. probably the most unprofessional behavior ever by a journalist.
i was super angry, i was beyond myself. why would someone do this to me? why would someone do this to anyone? is it not so simple to just send the text for checking, or to formally interview people? i always ask my subjects and i am always available for comments.
i have to apologize to rhizome staff as i emailed them in panic. i hope they reconsider this statement.
i emailed brian to take the article off but he refused. in my opinion he probably does not even understand how much damage he is doing and how much off he is. he could have changed the article not to include me but he did not do it. he had the whole day to do it.
brian droitcour came here, spent few days, he was our guest, he ate with us, met my parents, i drove him around, paid for his food, have him gifts, even made him sandwiches for his next trip. he did not understand much, i think he is not a very understanding type, he seemed very focused on certain things but totally isolated from others, and he made up his own story which gives a very wrong picture of what is actually going on. what some people are trying to do, what their goals are, what the environment is etc…
at first i was impressed with brian and i respected someone who would start a research trip. he reminded me of explorers. he was strange a bit but i still respected him and i thought i understood his goal and wanted to help. i thought people who explore should be helped.
but unfortunatelly he is not able to understand what he is exploring. he is probably one of the more isolated people i have met. he is superficial. at least in this case he demonstrated this methodology. he is not able to understand beyond what he concludes in first few seconds which is, in his case, totally wrong.
there are people here who have been doing work and fighting for their work for decades, culture is being developed for millenniums, you can not just come over, summarize it in an article in 5 minutes, press publish on rhizome.org and lock these people in your superficial stereotypes.
rhizome.org and such media have enormous power and such power must not be given to people who do not respect it and do not know how to use it well. who are not willing to take time and study the subjects and understand them. it can not be given to people who treat decades of someones work, someones identity, as a piece of chewing gum which has to fill todays editorial requirement.
some respect should be given to the subjects and people take a bit more to be studied than brian droitcour’s 5 minutes.
unfortunatelly brian droitcour also writes for other magazines and, i am guessing, plans to expand his writing and curating career. i hope that now he learns to respect people more. however, after i have met him and after this incident occurred, i doubt that he has it in him.
i would still appreciate if rhizome.org would take off that false article and reconsider their editorial policy – learn from this error.